Health Watch -- Prostate Therapy Combo

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When it comes to treating prostate problems, two drugs are better than one.

A combination of two drugs appears to be the best way to treat benign enlargement of the prostate gland. That's according to a study led by researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas. The study looked at two key drugs used to treat prostate enlargement, used separately and in combination. Researchers found that the two drugs used together significantly reduced symptoms and complications of prostate enlargement - by as much as 66 percent.

The trial included more than 3,000 men across the nation who have a condition called benign prostatic hyperplasia, or BPH. This condition is a non-cancerous enlargement of the prostate gland that affects more than half of all men over the age of 60. Symptoms include frequent or urgent need to urinate, hesitancy in urinating or slowing of the urine stream. As the condition gets worse, some men may develop urinary tract infections. Some cases require surgery.

The study - the largest of its kind - found that a combination of the drugs finasteride and doxazosin helped shrink the prostate and prevent complications of BPH. Dr. John McConnell, the UT Southwestern urologist who led the study, said the researchers expected the drug combination to be better than either drug alone, but the magnitude of the difference was surprising. Researchers found that patients tolerated the drugs well, and this drug therapy could help prevent the need for more invasive treatments, like surgery.