Objective: alpha1-adrenergic blockers (alphab) remain the first-line therapy in men with lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS). The current published work advocates continued use of alphab for their effect to be maintained. However, some patients decide to discontinue use of the medication after their symptoms are relieved and can keep good conditions. In this study, we investigated the natural course of LUTS after the discontinuation of successful treatment of alphab.
Methods: Among 75 patients with LUTS who stopped alphab medication once their symptoms improved, 60 patients (age, 50-87 years; median, 70) who could be followed for at least 12 months after discontinuation of alphab were analyzed in this study. Evaluations included a clinical determination of the International Prostate Symptom Score (IPSS), peak flow rate (Qmax) and postvoid residual urine volume (PVR). Upon patient request or in cases of PVR more than 100 mL, administration of alphab was resumed.
Results: Eighteen out of the 60 patients (30%) asked for re-treatment within 12 months after discontinuation (re-treatment group). The other 42 patents were able to maintain good condition without medication (discontinuation group). The IPSS was 15.9, 8.7, 10.1, 10.2, 9.7, 8.8 and 9.0, on the first visit, just before discontinuation, and 1, 3, 6, 9 and 12 months after stopping treatment among the discontinuation group, respectively. Similarly, Qmax was 10.6, 14.8, 14.2, 14.3, 14.7, 13.2 and 13.6 mL/ s, respectively. Treatment periods, prostatic volume and peak flow rates just before discontinuation of medication differed significantly between the re-treatment and discontinuation group.
Conclusions: In spite of the short follow-up periods, these results suggest that selected patients with relatively small prostatic volume and good flow rates after therapy can discontinue alphab medication after their symptoms improve.