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Your physician can help you decide which treatment for benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) is right for you. Medications are a good option for many men. A few of the more common types of medications include:

Alpha Blockers

This type of medication improves urine flow by relaxing the muscles of the prostate and bladder neck. While alpha blockers reduce blockage and symptoms of BPH, they do not reduce the size of the prostate.

Alpha blockers work immediately. Side effects include dizziness, lightheadedness, fatigue, and difficulty ejaculating. This treatment may be suitable for men with moderate to severe BPH. However, men about to have cataract surgery should avoid this option.

5-Alpha Reductase Inhibitors

This type of medication blocks the production of dihydrotestosterone (DHT), a male hormone involved in prostate development and growth. As DHT accumulates in the prostate, it can cause the prostate to grow. 5-alpha reductase inhibitors increase urine flow, prevent further growth, and reduce the size of the prostate.

These medications can lower risk of BPH complications and reduce the need for surgery. Side effects include erectile dysfunction and low sex drive. Also, men must keep taking the medication to prevent symptoms. This type of medication may be best for men with very large prostate glands and older men.

Combination Treatments

Sometimes an alpha blocker and a 5-alpha reductase inhibitor are used together to effectively improve symptoms. Some options are available in a single tablet.

For some men, alpha blockers and 5-alpha reductase inhibitors work better together than either one alone. However, they can be increased side effects. This treatment is often used for men with larger prostates.

Other BPH Treatments