What are the treatments for Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia? Medications
Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia

BPH is most commonly treated with medications or minimally invasive surgery. Depending on the severity of the conditions, doctors will recommend appropriate treatments to relieve symptoms, reduce the risk of complications or stop BPH progression.



Doctors generally use medications to treat moderate symptoms of BPH. There are two main classes of medicine: 5-alpha-reductase inhibitors and alpha –receptor blockers. Usually, these medicines have to be taken for long periods of time. In most cases, medications can improve the symptom of difficult urination caused by BPH.


  • 5-alpha-reductase inhibitors
    These medications shrink the prostate by blocking the production of a hormone called dihydrotestosterone (DHT) that causes the prostate to enlarge. They do this by blocking an enzyme called 5-alpha-reductase. These medicines help reduce the severity of BPH and the need for surgery. It may take 3 to 6 months for them to be effective. The anti-androgen finasteride is a 5-alpha-reductase inhibitor commonly used to treat BPH.


  • Alpha-receptor blockers/Alpha blockers
    These medications can lower blood pressure and widen blood vessels. They help relax bladder neck and urethral muscles and make it easier to urinate. However, they cannot reduce the size of the prostate. Hence, the prostate will continue to enlarge. These medications should be used long-term. The symptom of difficult urination will return and may become more severe if the medication is stopped. These medicines work quickly to alleviate symptoms. 70- 80% of patients have improvement within a few days. However, patients who experience serious side-effects should not use them. The most common alpha-receptor blockers are terazosin, doxazosin and tamsulosin.