We determine the effect of placebo, finasteride, terazosin and a combination of drugs on bother due to symptoms, quality of life and patient perception of improvement, and identify baseline clinical factors that predict clinical response to medical therapy.Materials and Methods
A total of 1,229 subjects with clinical benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) were randomized to 1 year of placebo, finasteride, terazosin or drug combination. The primary outcome measures were American Urological Association (AUA) symptom score and peak flow rate. Relevant secondary outcome measures were symptom problem score, BPH impact score and global rating of improvement.Results
Group mean differences in symptom problem and BPH impact scores between the finasteride versus placebo, and terazosin versus combination groups were not statistically or clinically significant. Group mean differences in all outcome measures were highly statistically significant between the terazosin and finasteride, and combination and finasteride groups. The percentage of subjects who rated improvement as marked or moderate with placebo, finasteride, terazosin and combination was 39, 44, 61 and 65%, respectively. In the subsets of men in the placebo, finasteride, terazosin and combination groups with prostates greater than 50 cm.3 group mean decrease from baseline in AUA symptom score was -2.5, -3.6, -6 and -7, group mean increase in peak flow rate was 0.6, 2.7, 3.6 and 3.7 ml. per second, group mean decrease in symptom problem score was -2.2, -1.9, -3.1 and -4.5, and group mean decrease in BPH impact score was -0.6, -0.3, -1.1 and -1.5, respectively. A correlational analysis failed to show a significant relationship between baseline prostate volume and treatment response to finasteride. There was a significant but weak relationship between change in AUA symptom score and peak flow rate in the finasteride and combination groups. The symptom responses with terazosin were independent of baseline peak flow rate.Conclusions
In men with clinical BPH finasteride and placebo are equally effective, while terazosin and combination are significantly more effective. In men with clinical BPH and large prostates the advantage of finasteride over placebo in terms of symptom reduction, impact on bother due to symptoms and quality of life is small at best, while the advantage of terazosin and combination over finasteride and placebo is highly significant. Baseline prostate volume was not a predictor of response to finasteride in the overall study population. On the basis of our results alpha 1 blockers, such as terazosin, should be first line medical treatment for BPH.