5-Alpha Reductase Inhibition Provides Superior Benefits to Alpha Blockade by Preventing AUR and BPH-Related Surgery

P. Boyle, Claus Roehrborn, R. Harkaway, J. Logie, J. De La Rosette, M. Emberton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

51 Scopus citations


Objectives: This analysis examines the relative effectiveness of current medical therapies for BPH in preventing AUR, AUR-related catheterisation and surgery in real-life clinical practice. Methods: This is a retrospective analysis of observational data from the General Practice Research Database (UK) (GPRD). The cohort contains 4500 patients experiencing BPH or lower urinary tract symptoms strongly suggestive of BPH, aged over 50 years, who were prescribed a 5ARI (finasteride) or an alpha-blocker (alfuzosin, doxazosin, indoramin, prazosin, tamsulosin, terazosin) as their first BPH treatment between 1996 and 1999 inclusive. Cox regression and competing risks analyses, adjusted for age and year of first treatment, followed patients from the start of their first BPH treatment to AUR, catheterisation or surgery, or censoring. Results: Patients prescribed an alpha-blocker were significantly more likely to experience AUR (hazard ratio 2.32, 95%CI 1.37, 3.94) or surgery (hazard ratio 1.78, 95%CI 1.30, 2.44) than patients prescribed a 5ARI. These differences were sustained with sensitivity analyses. Conclusion: Real-life clinical practice shows that significantly fewer BPH patients prescribed a 5ARI experienced serious complications associated with the progression of BPH compared with those prescribed an alpha-blocker.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)620-627
Number of pages8
JournalEuropean urology
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2004


  • 5ARIs
  • Acute urinary retention
  • Alpha-blockers
  • General practice research database
  • Surgery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology


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