As reviewed on the finasteride page, 5-alpha reductase inhibitors are used clinically to reduce the symptoms of benign prostate hyperplasia. They also have a potential role in the prevention of prostate cancer. Finasteride seems to have a minimal role in the treatment of chronic prostatitis.
The ongoing REDUCE trial to prevent prostate cancer with dutasteride (Avodart; Glaxo Smith Kline) has presented an opportunity to evaluate the effect of dusteride on the symptoms of chronic prostatitis. The 4-year trial is based upon men aged 50-75 years who were followed after having a negative prostate biopsy and then given either dutasteride or placebo. Each patient completed the NIH-Chronic Prostatitis Symptom Index (CPSI) before starting the trial and again every 6 months.
The unpublished findings were presented at the 2010 meeting of the American Urological Association. They are that CPSI dropped by:
In other words, over a 4-year period and relative to placebo, dutasteride appears to add a therapeutic advantage equating to 2.5 points. Based upon these findings it appears to have little general use in the treatment of chronic prostatitis.
- 5.2 points in the dutasteride-treated men
- 2.7 points in the placebo-treated men
The lead author of the dutasteride-prostatitis research has indicated that he is a member of the GlaxoSmithKline Canadian advisory board