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Alpha-Blocker Medicines for Prostatitis

Examples

Generic Name Brand Name
alfuzosin Xatral
doxazosin Cardura
silodosin Rapaflo
tamsulosin Flomax
terazosin Hytrin

These medicines are available in pill form. A low dose is used at first, then the dosage is gradually increased until the medicine has the greatest effect on reducing symptoms with minimal side effects.

How It Works

These medicines relax the muscles in the prostate and at the base of the bladder. This reduces muscle tightness and spasms that may prevent normal urine flow.

Why It Is Used

These medicines may be used to treat symptoms of chronic prostatitis/pelvic pain syndrome, non-inflammatory, a type of prostatitis, when muscle tightness and spasms are suspected to be the cause of symptoms and pain.

How Well It Works

Most men who take alpha-blockers for prostatitis have fewer symptoms, but it takes awhile for the medicine to give results. Alpha-blockers work best in men who haven't already tried many different kinds of medicines for prostatitis and who have moderate to severe symptoms.1

Taking an antibiotic and an alpha-blocker together helps to improve symptoms of chronic prostatitis and chronic pelvic pain better than either medicine alone.2

Side Effects

Alpha-blockers can reduce blood pressure to less than normal. This can result in light-headedness, especially when you stand up abruptly after sitting or lying down (postural hypotension).

See Drug Reference for a full list of side effects. (Drug Reference is not available in all systems.)

What To Think About

Because this medicine can cause light-headedness, it may be given at night and started at a low dose that will be gradually increased.

Complete the new medication information form (PDF)(What is a PDF document?) to help you understand this medication.

References

Citations

  1. Nickel JC (2007). Inflammatory conditions of the male genitourinary tract: Prostatitis and related conditions, orchitis, and epididymitis. In AJ Wein et al., eds., Campbell-Walsh Urology, 9th ed., vol. 1, pp. 304–329. Philadelphia: Saunders Elsevier.
  2. Anothaisintawee T, et al. (2011). Management of chronic prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome. JAMA, 305(1): 78–86.

Credits

By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Primary Medical Reviewer Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer J. Curtis Nickel, MD, FRCSC - Urology
Last Revised January 30, 2012
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