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15 June 2011
New treatment offers prostatitis relief
by George Atkinson

Urologists from the Prostatitis Research Group (with members from Queen's University and Kingston General Hospital) say that treatment with a specific alpha blocker helps reduce symptoms and improve quality of life for men with prostatitis.

The alpha-blocker - known as silodosin - works by selectively relaxing the muscles in the bladder neck and prostate. It is already widely approved to treat the symptoms of another prostate condition, benign prostatic hyperplasia (enlarged prostate).

Prostatitis is difficult to treat because the symptoms are very similar to other conditions. "Antibiotics are commonly used as a treatment, but are not typically effective, probably because [prostatitis] does not seem to be caused by a bacterial infection," explains lead researcher Curtis Nickel, a urologist at Kingston General Hospital.

In the new study, approximately 60 percent of men reported feeling better after treatment with silodosin versus 30 percent of participants who were given a placebo. The number of patients who reported feeling better is higher than in a similar study he ran several years ago that tested the effects of a different alpha blocker.

Prostatitis is a debilitating condition characterized by persistent discomfort in the lower pelvic area including the bladder area, testicles, and penis. Symptoms can be severe and include painful and frequent urination and difficult or painful ejaculation. The cause of the condition is unknown.

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Source: Queen's University

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