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Urologe A. 2005 May;44(5):513-20.

[Phytotherapy for BPS. Which products can still be prescribed?].

[Article in German]

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Abteilung für Urologie und Andrologie, Donauspital, Wien, Osterreich.


For decades, plant extracts have been amongst to the most popular drugs for lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS) due to benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH)/benign prostatic enlargement (BPE). Only a few of the many published studies meet the criteria of the WHO-BPH consensus conference. The few placebo-controlled, long-term (>/=6 months) studies suggest a positive effect of some extracts (saw palmetto, beta-sitosterol, urtica, rye-grass, saw palmetto/urtica combination) on LUTS; an effect on uroflow, post-void residual volume, prostate volume and PSA was not consistently demonstrable. Randomised trials against an active comparator (alpha1-blocker, 5alpha-reductase inhibitors) are difficult to interpret. Due to the lack of prospective studies, several meta-analyses have been published that can not, however, replace prospective studies. None of the BPH-guidelines currently recommend plant extracts, yet universally conclude that this is an interesting approach. Further prospective studies using WHO standards are required to reliably determine the role of such extracts in the management of elderly men with LUTS due to BPH/BPE.

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