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BPH drugs 'equally effective'

Dutasteride and finasteride are equally effective at reducing prostate volume and relieving symptoms of enlarged prostate glands in older men, a Canadian study has found.

Researchers recruited men over 50 with benign prostatic hyperplasia, and assigned 813 to 0.5mg daily dutasteride therapy and 817 to 5mg of finasteride, following four weeks of placebo for both groups.

After a year, there had been an average reduction in prostate volume of 26.7% for men in the finasteride group and 26.3% for men in the dutasteride group.

Similar improvements for both drugs were also noted in peak flow rates and other symptoms. The incidence of side-effects relating to sexual function was comparable for both groups.

The authors cautioned about their use of prostate volume as the primary clinical endpoint, as previous research suggested it did not always correlate with improvements in peak flow rate.

Study leader Dr J. Curtis Nickel, professor of urology at Queen's University Kingston in Canada, concluded: ‘Dutasteride and ?nasteride, when administered for 12 months, were similarly effective in reducing prostate volume and improving Qmax and urinary symptoms associated with BPH in men with an enlarged prostate.'

The study was funded by GSK, the manufacturer of dutasteride.

British Journal of Urology International 2011, online 1 June

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