, Volume 28, Issue 1, pp 9-15,
Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.
Date: 03 Dec 2009

Current status of 5α-reductase inhibitors in the management of lower urinary tract symptoms and BPH



Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) is a progressive disease that is commonly associated with bothersome lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS) and might result in complications, such as acute urinary retention and BPH-related surgery. Therefore, the goals of therapy for BPH are not only to improve LUTS in terms of symptoms and urinary flow, but also to identify those patients at a risk of unfavorable disease progression and to optimize their management. This article reviews the current status of therapy with 5α-reductase inhibitors (5ARIs), namely fiasteride and dutasteride, for men with LUTS and BPH.


Data from key randomized controlled trials (Oxford level 1b) on the use of 5ARIs are analyzed.


The efficacy of 5ARIs either as monotherapy or in combination with α1-adrenoceptor antagonists in the management of LUTS and the impact of monotherapy and combined therapy on BPH progression are discussed. Further promises, including the withdrawal of the α-blocker from the combined medical treatment and the potential clinical implications from the use of 5ARIs for prostate cancer chemoprevention in patients receiving 5ARIs for symptomatic BPH are highlighted.


Current evidence shows that 5ARIs are effective in treating LUTS and preventing disease progression and represent a recommended option in treatment guidelines for men who have moderate to severe LUTS and enlarged prostates.