Seeking a Quick Fix

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Seeking a Quick Fix

It’s tempting to take a medication that can relieve the urinary issues caused by an enlarged prostate, however, is it worth it?

Though it’s human nature to want to find a quick fix to resolve the obnoxious urinary issues that benign prostate hyperplasia causes, these so-called quick fixes, such as medication can come at a cost to your wallet, and potentially your health.

Clinical studies have found that alpha-blockers, such as tamsulosin (Flomax) or terazosin (Hytrin), which are medications that are used to relax muscle tissue, have shown an ability to improve lower urinary tract symptoms caused by an enlarged prostate. However, there is also plenty of evidence to support those alpha-blockers come with a lot of potential side effects and risks.

One of the most serious concerns is the lack of clinical evidence that alpha-blockers can affect or reduce the long-term risk of developing acute urinary retention.

What is urinary retention?

Urinary retention is a condition in which you are unable to empty all of the urine from your bladder.

Acute urinary retention results in a sudden inability to urinate at all can cause severe pain, and can even be life-threatening.

Alpha-blockers also come with their fair share of side effects.

According to research published in Reviews in Urology, the most commonly reported side effects of alpha-blockers used to treat the symptoms of BPH are:

  • dizziness
  • headache
  • asthenia
  • postural hypotension
  • rhinitis

And last but not least, sexual dysfunction.

The use of alpha-blockers in the treatment of an enlarged prostate has been known to cause sexual dysfunction.

These issues are primarily, a lack of libido, diminished ejaculation, and in some cases retrograde ejaculation.

Both of these sexual side effects can decrease sexual pleasure, and in the case of retrograde ejaculation, cause fertility issues unless medically intervened.

It’s also important to note that because alpha-blockers lower blood pressure, there is also the risk of experiencing the side effects associated with this, especially if the dosage is too high.

Some of the symptoms of low blood pressure from alpha-blockers include:

  • Nausea
  • Dehydration
  • Unusual thirst
  • Poor concentration
  • Blurry vision
  • Shallow breathing
  • Rapid breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Pale skin

Alpha-blockers can have dangerous interactions with many other medications. Alpha-blockers should not be taken with beta-blockers, calcium channel blockers, medications for erectile dysfunction, and more.

It’s also important to note that while alpha-blockers lower blood pressure and have been shown to improve total cholesterol- some research has found that these medications can actually increase the risk of heart failure. So be sure to talk to your doctor about any of these concerns.

Therefore when it comes to taking medication to reduce the urinary symptoms of an enlarged prostate it’s important to make sure the benefits outweigh the potential side effects and risks involved.

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