Medical treatment modalities for lower urinary tract symptoms: What are the relevant differences in randomised controlled trials?

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8 Scopus citations


Objective: Relevant differences in efficacy and tolerability will be reviewed among medical treatment modalities for lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS) suggestive of benign prostatic obstruction (BPO). Available data on the long-term effectiveness of these treatments will be also discussed. Methods: Information reviewed here comes mainly from published scientific articles and abstracts describing direct comparative trials among α1-adrenoceptor antagonists, finasteride, and/or phytotherapy. Results: Direct comparative trials demonstrated α-adrenoceptor antagonists to be more effective than finasteride in improving symptoms and increasing urinary flow. Moreover, finasteride did not perform better than placebo in those studies that included a placebo arm. While finasteride treatment appears more beneficial in patients with an enlarged prostate volume (>50 ml), the efficacy α1-adrenoceptor antagonists is not related to prostate size. To study the efficacy of plant extracts, adequately performed placebo-controlled and direct comparative trials are needed. Medical treatment modalities generally have a low incidence of adverse events. Regarding long-term effectiveness of medical treatment, the few available data show that finasteride can reduce the risk of acute urinary retention (AUR) and surgery. Short-term, direct comparative studies suggest that, like finasteride, α1-adrenoceptor antagonists have a comparable positive effect on disease progression. Conclusion: More comparative information is needed on the long-term efficacy, tolerability, and effectiveness of medical treatments for LUTS. Information on disease progression (i.e., long-term complications related to BPO) and treatment outcomes (i.e., switch to other therapy or surgery) is necessary because such information directly effects a treatment's cost-effectiveness. Copyright (C) 2000 S. Karger AG, Basel.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)18-24
Number of pages7
JournalEuropean urology
Issue numberSUPPL. 1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2000


  • Drug therapy
  • Effec tiveness
  • Efficacy
  • Finasteride
  • LUTS
  • Phytotherapy
  • Randomised controlled trials
  • Tolerability
  • α-Adrenoceptor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology


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