Alpha blockers in use for symptomatic benign prostatic hyperplasia - Are all drugs born equal?

Yuval Bar-Yosef*, Nicola J. Mabjeesh, Menachem Laufer, Endre Z. Neulander, Isaac Kaver, Haim Matzkin

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Alpha-adrenergic blockers are an established form of medical treatment for symptomatic benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). Several medications of the class are available, each with its own characteristics. The authors attempted to define the differences between the currently available medications (Terazosin, Doxazosin, Alfuzosin, and Tamsulosin), and to present an evidence-based recommendation for choosing the best treatment option. A literature search was conducted, using Medline queries and the references of review papers, in search of pertinent studies. These included controlled studies comparing the results of treatment with alpha blockers to placebo, or direct comparative studies of alpha blockers, and real life practice, community studies of each of the medications. A similar efficacy emerged from the reviewed articles, but with a different adverse events profile. A higher rate of vasodilatatory, cardiovascular side effects (dizziness, fatigue, and hypotension) was observed with terazosin and doxazosin, when compared with the uroselective alfuzosin and tamsulosin. Of the latter two, hypotension was more frequent with alfuzosin, while ejaculatory dysfunction was more frequent with tamsulosin. In conclusion, each of the four medications is a possible treatment option for BPH, but we believe alfuzosin and tamsulosin are the better choice. In light of an identical efficacy, these medications offer better tolerability, and ease of use of a once daily treatment without dose titration. The choice between the two should be tailored to the individual patient, with alfuzosin associated with hypotensive side effects, and tamsulosin causing ejaculatory dysfunction.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)514-519
Number of pages6
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2008


  • Adrenergic alpha-antagonists
  • Benign prostatic enlargement
  • Lower urinary tract symptoms


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