Alfuzosin, a commonly prescribed drug for men suffering from the pelvic condition known as prostatitis, was not found to significantly reduce patients' symptoms in a study led by Queen's University, Canada.
Prostatitis is poorly understood and is estimated to affect up to half of all men. Sufferers of the condition experience pain in the genital and urinary tract area and also report lower urinary tract symptoms and sexual problems.
In the new study, conducted by Queen's Curtis Nickel, 233 men diagnosed with chronic prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome were randomly assigned to either alfuzosin or an identical-looking placebo.
Over the 12-week trial, the participants were asked to rate improvements in pain perception, problems with urination, and their quality of life. Nickel's study, appearing in the New England Journal of Medicine, reports that the rates of response in both groups were the same.
"Although the evidence for using alpha-blockers [such as alfuzosin] to treat new cases of chronic prostatitis is weak, some physicians have advocated use of this class of drug in men with this condition," Nickel said. "Our findings do not support this recommendation and should prompt reconsideration of use of an alpha-blocker as the first drug of choice for these patients."
"The results of our study will inform not only future clinical trials of alpha-blockers, but also other potential therapies," he concluded.
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Source: Queen's University