BPH Medications and Side Effects

April 23, 2021

Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH) is a common medical condition. As the prostate grows benignly and enlarges it begins to press on and obstruct the urethra, causing symptoms such as frequent daytime urination, getting up at night frequently to urinate, a weak or slow stream, the feeling of not emptying the bladder completely, an urgent need to urinate, or difficulty starting a urinary stream.

Most often, the first BPH treatment options offered to patients are medications that can help reduce or eliminate symptoms. These medications are classified as “alpha blockers” and they work by relaxing muscles in the bladder and prostate, which makes it easier to urinate. These medications don’t change the size of the prostate, but they do help with urine flow.

Medications such as: Alfuzosin (Uroxatral), Tamsulosin (Flomax), Terazosin (Hytrin), Doxazosin (Cardura) and silodosin (Rapaflo) are categorized as alpha blockers and are used to treat BPH.

As with all medications, in some cases alpha blockers might cause side effects that can make them intolerable. In a survey, more than half of men treated with an alpha blocker reported side effects such as dizziness, fatigue, weakness, and ejaculatory dysfunction (meaning a decrease in ejaculate or none at all).

When BPH becomes bothersome enough, medications are no longer effective, or side effects prevent medications from being used, surgical options (such as TURP or UroLift) become the BPH treatment of choice.

Contact Austin Urology Institute to schedule a consultation with a provider to discuss all of the treatment options for BPH, both medical and surgical.