Medication to Treat Prostate Conditions
Most medications help treat the symptoms associated with prostate conditions, making the muscles surrounding the urethra looser so the urine flows more easily or in some cases slowing or stopping the growth of the prostate. Other antibiotics are prescribed to deal with bacterial infections present in different forms of prostatitis .
Antibiotics are the most common form of treatment for prostatitis. The choice of medication will vary depending on the type of prostatitis you have and input from your doctor based on your situation. Most patients will take a round of oral antibiotics for several days or weeks for acute bacterial prostatitis or up to 12 weeks or more with chronic bacterial prostatitis. In severe cases, intravenous antibiotics may be administered.
Alpha blockers relax the smooth muscle of the prostate and bladder, improving urine flow and reducing obstructions in the urethra. They may relieve prostate symptoms, but usually don't reduce the size of the prostate itself. Alpha blockers are usually taken orally, once or twice a day, and work almost immediately.
Finasteride and dutasteride are two oral medications used to treat BPH by increasing urinary flow rate and, in some cases, shrinking the prostate. These medications are best suited for men with highly enlarged prostates and can be used to prevent acute urinary retention (the inability to urinate) and BPH surgery. 5-alpha-reductase inhibitors must be taken indefinitely to prevent symptoms from returning. Combination therapies using alpha blockers and 5-alpha-reductase inhibitors have shown significant positive results.
Phosphodiesterase-5 (PDE-5) Inhibitors
PDE-5 inhibitors such as tadalafil (Cialis) have been shown to reduce symptoms related to prostate conditions that involve sexual function. This medication is taken daily at a lower dose and has shown to be effective in treating symptoms of BPH.
Managing Prostate Conditions through Lifestyle Changes
Some symptoms of prostate conditions can be managed through changes to your lifestyle through diet, exercise and knowing which behaviors can aggravate your symptoms. Ask your doctor which lifestyle changes might help with your condition.
Studies show that eating high-fat foods and few fruits and vegetables may raise your risk of developing prostate conditions or worsen existing problems. There's evidence that reducing saturated fats and eating more whole grains, fish, nuts and seeds has shown positive results.
Safe Sex Practices
Prostatitis can be prevented with proper hygiene and safe-sex measures that prevent bacteria from the rectum entering the urethra and infecting the prostate's ducts. Using proper protection and safeguards can limit infection or reinfection.
Side Effects from Medication
Avoid medications that worsen symptoms, like decongestants and antihistamines which can slow urine flow in some men with BPH. Certain antidepressants and diuretics can also aggravate symptoms of BPH. Consult your doctor if you are taking any of these medications to discuss changing dosages or switching medications, if possible.
General exercise is always beneficial to the body, but Kegel exercises can be used to strengthen the pelvic muscle, helping prevent urine leakage. Doctors recommend practicing this exercise while urinating in order to isolate and train the specific muscle. To perform a Kegel, contract the muscle until the flow of urine decreases or stops and then release the muscle. It's recommended that men with BPH repeat five to 15 contractions, holding each for 10 seconds, three to five times a day. Consult your doctor for more information.