You jump out of bed with a serious urge to urinate, but only to get to the toilet and find it hard to start urinating.
And even when you start to urinate, it comes out in a slow and very frustrating flow with constant interruptions.
Some Nigerian local names for this condition include
- Ito or atogbe (Yoruba)
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The prostate is a gland in the male reproductive system that is located directly under your bladder. It is responsible for the production of semen – the visible white fluid that comes out when you ejaculate.
An enlarged prostate, also called Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH), is an increase in the size of your prostate gland so much that it obstructs your urine flow.
Prostate enlargement or BPH is most popular in males above 40 years of age and is different from prostate cancer.
Symptoms of an enlarged prostate
- Sudden urge to urinate
- Frequent urination, especially at night
- Hard to start urinating
- A slow stream of urine
- Urine comes out in a stop-and-start pattern
- Prolonged urination
- Inability to empty your bladder
- Incontinence (leakage of urine beyond your control)
Confirmed treatments for enlarged prostate (BPH)
An untreated enlarged prostate can grow to completely block your urine flow – which is a serious medical condition called acute urinary retention.
It may also lead to other several urinary complications like:
- Chronic urinary retention
- Bladder diverticulum
- Kidney stone
- Bladder damage
- Severe incontinence
- Urinary tract infections
- Kidney failure
- Prostate cancer.
- Renal disease
There are two main classes of medicine that have been medically confirmed, approved by FDA, and registered with NAFDAC for treating enlarged prostate in Nigeria.
Alpha-blockers are a class of BPH medications that improves your urine flow almost instantly by relaxing the muscles of your prostate, bladder, and urethra.
There are four Alpha-blockers available in Nigeria for improving the symptoms of an enlarged prostate.
Terazosin was originally developed to treat the symptoms of high blood pressure, but was later found to improve the symptoms of BPH.
Doxazosin was also developed for high blood pressure but later discovered to improve BPH symptoms. It is available in some local pharmacy nationwide.
Alfuzosin was specifically developed to treat enlarged prostate, unlike Terazosin and Doxazosin.
It has been approved by FDA since 2003, and available in some local pharmacy nationwide.
Tamsulosin was also specifically developed to treat enlarged prostate and has been approved by FDA since 1997.
These alpha-blockers are available in some local pharmacy near you, and should be taken as directed by your healthcare professional or the leaflet.
5-reductase inhibitors are the other class of BPH medications that will improve your urine flow, and also reduce or shrink your enlarged prostate by preventing the hormonal changes that cause prostate growth.
There are two 5-reductase inhibitor medicines available in Nigeria for reducing an enlarged prostate.
Finasteride has been approved by FDA since 1997 for shrinking an enlarged prostate. It is taken as a tablet once a day.
A common brand of Finasteride is Cialis Tadalafil, and is available in some local pharmacy and online.
Dutasteride has been approved by FDA since 2001 for shrinking an enlarged prostate.
It is registered with NAFDAC as Avodart, and marketed by GSK in Nigeria
Unlike alpha-blockers, the improvements that come with 5-reductase inhibitors may take longer to manifest, but many doctors confirm that taking 5-reductase inhibitors can reduce your chances of needing prostate surgery later on.
It is usually recommended to take both Alpha-blockers and 5-reductase inhibitors at the same time because these BPH medications work best together, and provide greater symptom relief than when taken alone.
Even a recent study in the National Institute for Diabetes, Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) also confirmed that the combination of these classes of BPH medications proved more effective together for improving your urine flow and preventing further prostate enlargement.
Duodart is the most common combination of dutasteride (reductase inhibitor) & tamsulosin (alpha-blocker) in Nigeria. It is marketed by GSK, and can be gotten from some local pharmacy or online.
You will resume urinating with ease within days of taking alpha-blockers, and 2-3 months of taking reductase inhibitors. However, the earlier you start your treatment, the more you save yourself from further urinary complications.
Please note that 5 percent of people (5 in every 100) who use these BPH medicines have reported to experience some dizziness, erectile dysfunction or retrograde ejaculation. However, these potential side effects reverse back to normal anytime you stop taking the medications.
Benign Prostate Hyperplasia (BPH) medications are not for women and children.
Last updated: December 2019
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