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Alpha blockers, also called alpha-adrenergic antagonists, are used in urology to treat the non-cancerous enlargement of the prostate gland known as benign prostatic hyperplasia, or BPH.

Flexible ureteroscopy and laser lithotripsy in ureter of an obstructing stone

They do so by preventing the hormone norepinephrine from constricting certain smooth muscles and blood vessels. By doing so, the drug can improve urinary flow in older men with prostate problems. Some alpha blockers are available in short- and long-acting formulations.

The short-acting drugs work quickly, but their effects only last a few hours.

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Long-acting versions may take longer to work, but their effects last longer. The choice of formulation is largely dependent on the severity of the BPH. Broadly speaking, alpha blockers may cause dizziness, headaches, postural hypotension low blood pressure when you stand , or retrograde ejaculation a condition where semen is ejaculated into the bladder.

As a drug class, 5-alpha inhibitors may cause the loss of libido, impotence, or retrograde ejaculation.

Urology - UChicago Medicine

Anticholinergic drugs work blocking the action of a chemical neurotransmitter, known as acetylcholine, which sends signals to the brain that trigger abnormal bladder contractions. Anticholinergics may cause dry mouth, constipation, blurred vision, and rapid heartbeat tachycardia. To find a qualified urologist near you, contact your insurance company for a list of approved providers or ask your primary care physician for a referral.

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Medical Therapy in Urology

The most commonly prescribed classes of drugs in urology include:. Alpha blockers which work by relaxing muscles at the bladder neck to improve urinary flow 5-alpha inhibitors which block the production of a specific male hormone associated with prostate enlargement Anticholinergics which minimize bladder contractions and increase bladder capacity for people with an overactive bladder.

Alpha blockers currently approved for the treatment of BPH include:. Avodart dutasteride Propecia or Proscar low- and high-dose finasteride, respectively. Among the anticholinergics currently approved for the treatment of overactive bladder are:. About this book A working guide to the use of drugs in the treatment of urological disease The content is arranged so that the busy urologist can go quickly and easily to the relevant section Coverage of treatment is evidence-based It is the only current book on drug treatment in urology Great strides have been made in the understanding of the scientific basis of urological conditions and this has allowed the development of drugs for a wide variety of urological disorders.

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