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J Clin Oncol. 2010 Sep 1;28(25):3951-7. doi: 10.1200/JCO.2009.27.9406. Epub 2010 Aug 2.

Impact of common medications on serum total prostate-specific antigen levels: analysis of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.

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  • 1Department of Urology, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, CA 94305, USA.



Previous studies suggest that some common medications alter prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels. It remains unclear whether these reported medication effects are due to clinicodemographic factors or concurrent use of other medications. We investigated the impact of individual and combinations of common medications on PSA in a large cross-sectional study of the United States population.


The study included men > or = 40 years old without prostate cancer from the 2003 to 2004 and 2005 to 2006 cycles of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES). Men with recent prostate manipulation, prostatitis, and those on hormone therapy were excluded. Weighted multivariate linear regression was performed on log-transformed total PSA to determine the effect of the 10 most commonly prescribed medication classes, adjusting for potential confounders including demographics, clinical characteristics, physical examination, laboratory studies, and duration of medication use.


In total, 1,864 men met inclusion criteria. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID; P = .03), statin (P = .01), and thiazide diuretic (P = .025) intake was inversely related to PSA levels. Five years of NSAID, statin, and thiazide diuretic use was associated with PSA levels lower by 6%, 13%, and 26%, respectively. The combination of statins and thiazide diuretics showed the greatest reduction in PSA levels: 36% after 5 years. Concurrent calcium channel blocker use minimizes or negates the inverse relationship of statin use and PSA level.


We found that men using NSAIDs, statins, and thiazide diuretics have reduced PSA levels by clinically relevant amounts. The impact of regularly consuming these common medications on prostate cancer screening is unknown.

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