Current status of 5alpha-reductase inhibitors in the treatment of benign hyperplasia of prostate

Indian J Med Sci. 2008 Apr;62(4):167-75.


Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) is a common problem in aging men, which is associated with lower urinary tract symptoms. This condition is dependent on the presence of androgens for its progression, and medical therapy is the first-line treatment for BPH patients with moderate-to-severe symptoms and includes the use of either alpha 1-adrenergic blockers or 5alpha-reductase inhibitors. Adrenergic blocking drugs reduce the dynamic component while the 5alpha-reductase inhibitors reduce the static component of bladder outlet obstruction in BPH. By inhibiting the generation of active form of testosterone, viz., dihydrotestosterone, the 5alpha-reductase inhibitors not only reduce the symptoms of BPH but also decrease the need for surgery and further progression of BPH. Besides, prolonged use of combination of 5alpha-reductase inhibitors and alpha 1-adrenergic blockers has been found to be more beneficial than either of the two drugs given alone. This review gives a brief account of rationale and efficacy of treatment by 5alpha-reductase inhibitors in the management of BPH.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adrenergic alpha-Antagonists / therapeutic use*
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Androgens / metabolism
  • Azasteroids / therapeutic use*
  • Cholestenone 5 alpha-Reductase / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Cholestenone 5 alpha-Reductase / metabolism
  • Drug Therapy, Combination
  • Dutasteride
  • Enzyme Inhibitors / therapeutic use*
  • Finasteride / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prostatic Hyperplasia / drug therapy*
  • Prostatic Hyperplasia / physiopathology
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Adrenergic alpha-Antagonists
  • Androgens
  • Azasteroids
  • Enzyme Inhibitors
  • Finasteride
  • Cholestenone 5 alpha-Reductase
  • Dutasteride