In what may be the best definition of two heads being better than one, a new study suggests two drugs used individually to treat the same condition might be better used in tandem.
Proscar and Cardura, commonly used to treat enlarged prostates, are more effective in combination than alone to prevent progression of the condition, says a study to be presented today at the American Urological Association meeting in Orlando, Fla.
Used together, Proscar and Cardura reduced the risk of the growth of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) by 67 percent when compared to a placebo, a multi-center trial by the National Institute of Health found.
* Cardura alone reduced the risk of BPH progression by 39 percent.
* Proscar alone reduced the risk by 34 percent.
* Compared to those who used a placebo, the risk of urinary retention was reduced by 79 percent with the combination therapy, by 67 percent with Proscar and by 31 percent with Cardura.
The risk of invasive surgery was reduced by 69 percent with the combination, by 64 percent with Proscar and by 8 percent with Cardura.
The study included 3,000 men, aged 50 and older, with BPH. They were divided into four groups that took either Cardura or Proscar alone, a combination of the drugs or a placebo.
An estimated 9 million men suffer from BPH symptoms and about 400,000 have surgery each year to remove some of the enlarged gland, which impairs the flow of urine through the urethra. Symptoms include urinary urgency, frequency and nighttime urination.
Revision date: June 20, 2011
Last revised: by Andrew G. Epstein, M.D.