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Impotence Drug Eases Prostate Problems

An enlarged prostate can cause a host of troublesome problems for men, like constantly waking up to go to the bathroom.

But new research, funded by Eli Lilly, the company that owns the rights to the drug tadalafil, shows a daily dose of the drug may help ease some of the urinary symptoms related to an enlarged prostate, also known as benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH).

The drug is sold under the name Cialis and is currently only approved for treating erectile dysfunction .

Cialis for BPH

Researchers, led by Claus G. Roehrborn, MD, with the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, studied 1,058 men from 10 countries. All of the men reported urinary symptoms from BPH for at least six months, whether or not they had a history of erectile dysfunction.

Symptoms of BPH include:


  • Having to urinate frequently and urgently

  • Having to urinate at night

  • A straining sensation while urinating

  • Still feeling the urge to urinate or a full bladder even after going to the bathroom

  • A weak urine stream


These lower urinary tract symptoms "increase with age with an overall prevalence of greater than 50% in men 50 years or older," according to study authors in the article published with the findings.

All were first given four weeks of a placebo pill.

Then they were put into five groups. Four of those groups received different daily doses of tadalafil: 2.5 mg, 5 mg, 10 mg, or 20 mg of the drug. One group got a dummy pill.

All the participants were scored for prostate-related urinary symptoms before and after the study.

Researchers found that symptom scores were significantly improved at 4, 8, and 12 weeks for those men who took the drug.

The National Kidney and Urological Disease Information Clearinghouse reports that having an enlarged prostate is the most common prostate problem for men over age 50.

Of men aged 51 to 60, about half will have BPH. For men over 80, that figure shoots up to 90%, according to the American Urological Association (AUA).

The results will appear in the October edition of The Journal of Urology.

By Kelley Colihan
Reviewed by Louise Chang
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