Common Urological Medications | JP Meyer Urology Redcliffe

Common Urological Medications

Patient Information

Common urological medications used for lower urinary tract symptoms:

(alpha) - blockers

These drugs work by relaxing the muscle at the bladder neck thereby improving the flow of urine.  There are several types of -blockers available; these include:

  • Flomaxtra (Tamsulosin)
  • Xatral SR (Alfuzosin)
  • Minipress (Prazosin)

They are generally used for bothersome lower urinary tract symptoms.

Side effects include dizziness, postural hypotension, headache and retrograde ejaculation.

5 -reductase inhibitors

These drugs inhibit the conversion of testosterone to dihydrotestosterone, the most potent androgen in the prostate gland.  This causes a "shrinkage" in the size of the prostate gland thus helping to improve lower urinary tract symptoms.  These drugs take some months to work and the urinary symptoms do not improve straight away.

There are 2 available 5 -reductase inhibitors:

  • Finasteride (Proscar)
  • Dutasteride (Avodart)
Side effects include loss of libido, impotence, and a reduction in the volume of the ejaculate.

Combination therapy

Some studies show that taking an -blocker and a 5 -reductase inhibitor can be of benefit, an example of this type of therapy is Duodart.  This drug has the combined effect of relaxing the muscle at the bladder neck and shrinkage of the prostate gland.

Side effects include those mentioned above under -blockers and 5 -reductase inhibitors.

There is some controversy surrounding 5 -reductase inhibitors and prostate cancer.

Although the overall risk of prostate cancer is decreased in those taking a 5 -reductase inhibitor, some studies report a slightly higher risk of a prostate cancer should it develop being of a higher grade (i.e. more aggressive) in those taking a 5 -reductase inhibitor.  This is a controversial issue.


These drugs act to inhibit bladder contractions and increase bladder capacity.  There are several available, these include:

  • Ditropan (Oxybutynin)
  • Detrusitol (Tolterodine)
  • Vesicare (Solifenacin)

Side effects include dry mouth, constipation, blurred vision, and tachycardia.  They must not be taken if you have closed angle glaucoma.