Combination treatment for male lower urinary tract symptoms with anticholinergic and alpha-blockers

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Abstract

Purpose of review

Although alpha-adrenergic antagonists (α-blockers) are effective for relieving voiding lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS) in men, storage symptoms often persist. The aim of this manuscript is to evaluate the efficacy and safety of combination therapy with α-blockers and muscarinic receptor antagonists (anticholinergics).

Recent findings

High-quality evidence confirms that the addition of an anticholinergic improves micturition diary parameters, such as daytime and nocturnal frequency and urgency incontinence episodes, as well as total and storage subset scores on the International Prostate Symptom Score. Most studies demonstrate a statistically significant improvement over α-blocker monotherapy. Both, incidence of urinary retention and study withdrawal because of treatment-related adverse events with combination therapy, are low. Urodynamic indices, such as maximum flow rate and postvoid residual volume, are also minimally impacted by combination therapy. Outcomes on validated questionnaires and quality-of-life (QoL) indices also indicate a significant improvement.

Summary

The addition of an anticholinergic to an α-blocker in men with storage and voiding LUTS is an effective practice in reducing both categories of symptoms. The addition of anticholinergic is associated with a low rate of urinary retention and the impact on efficient bladder emptying is minimal. Not unexpectedly, QoL is improved.

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