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J Urol. 2004 Jan;171(1):284-8.

A prospective, 1-year trial using saw palmetto versus finasteride in the treatment of category III prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome.

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1
Department of Urology, College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University, New York, New York 10032, USA. sk46@columbia.edu

Abstract

PURPOSE:

This study was designed to assess the safety and efficacy of saw palmetto or finasteride in men with category III prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome (CP/CPPS).

MATERIALS AND METHODS:

A prospective, randomized, open label, 1-year study was designed to assess the safety and efficacy of saw palmetto and finasteride in the treatment of men diagnosed with CP/CPPS. Patients were randomized to finasteride (5 mg once daily) or saw palmetto (325 mg daily) for 1 year. Patients were evaluated using the National Institutes of Health Chronic Prostatitis Symptom Index, individual domains (pain, urinary symptoms, quality of life and mean pain score) and the American Urological Association Symptom Score at baseline, 3, 6 and 12 months.

RESULTS:

A total of 64 consecutive men 24 to 58 years old (mean age 43.2) with a diagnosis of CP/CPPS were equally randomized to the 2 treatment arms. All 64 men had previously received antibiotics (duration of 3 to 93 weeks), 52 (82%) had been on alpha-blockade. There were 61, 57 and 56 patients evaluable at 3, 6 and 12 months, respectively. At 1 year mean total National Institutes of Health Chronic Prostatitis Symptom Index score decreased from 23.9 to 18.1 in the finasteride group (p <0.003), and from 24.7 to 24.6 in the saw palmetto arm (p = 0.41). In the finasteride arm the quality of life and pain domains were significantly improved at 1 year; however, urination was not. Adverse events included headache (3 cases) in the saw palmetto group and decreased libido (2 cases) in the finasteride group. At the end of the trial 13 of 32 (41%) and 21 of 32 (66%) opted to continue saw palmetto and finasteride, respectively.

CONCLUSIONS:

CP/CPPS treated with saw palmetto had no appreciable long-term improvement. In contrast, patients treated with finasteride had significant and durable improvement in all various parameters except voiding. Further studies are warranted to ascertain the mechanism and reproducibility of these effects in a placebo controlled trial.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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