A recently published study explores the possible benefits to discontinuing an alpha-1 blocker after receiving combination therapy with a 5-alpha reductase inhibitor for the treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). In more symptomatic patients, or patients with confirmed, enlarged prostates, it is recommended to use both medication classes (alpha-1 blocker and 5-alpha reductase inhibitor) to minimize symptoms by relaxing the prostatic smooth muscle and reducing the size of the prostate – producing a potentially synergistic effect. This study found that withdrawal of alpha 1-blockers after a year of combination therapy did not worsen urinary symptoms, QOL, and voiding or storage function. This provides evidence that combination therapy may not be needed indefinitely for all patients.
Guest Authors: Erica Crannage, PharmD and Stephanie Crist, PharmD
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