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Am J Geriatr Pharmacother. 2011 Feb;9(1):37-48. doi: 10.1016/j.amjopharm.2011.02.005.

Identification, pharmacologic considerations, and management of prostatitis.

Author information

  • 1Department of Pharmacy, Saint Barnabas Medical Center, Livingston, New Jersey 07039, USA. dschiller@sbhcs.com

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Prostatitis is a collection of signs and symptoms that occur as a result of inflammation or swelling of the prostate gland. There are many different causes for prostatitis, including infection; occasionally no clear etiology for the inflammation is found. Effective treatment often depends on identification of the cause, but a microbiologic organism is not always detectable, especially in cases of chronic prostatitis.

OBJECTIVE:

The aim of this article was to review identification and treatment options for prostatitis, including pharmacologic and nonpharmacologic interventions.

METHODS:

Relevant information was identified through a search of MEDLINE (1966-June 2010), International Pharmaceutical Abstracts (1970-June 2010), and EMBASE (1947-June 2010). Randomized, controlled trials that examined prostate cancer, benign prostatic hypertrophy, or procedures related to the prostate (ie, biopsies) were excluded.

RESULTS:

A working classification system for prostatitis was developed in 1999, but there are few randomized controlled trials that distinguish between the various treatment options. Bacterial prostatitis can be acute or chronic but always requires some degree of antimicrobial therapy. Pharmacologic features of fluoroquinolones make them the preferred agents for most patients. These antibiotics can become trapped in a chronically inflamed prostate due to pH differences between prostatic tissue and serum. Many fluoroquinolones have penetration ratios (prostate level:serum level) of up to 4:1. A study in European men (N = 117) who received levofloxacin 500 mg/d with a diagnosis of chronic bacterial prostatitis demonstrated clinical success rates of 92% (95% CI 84.8%-96.5%), 77.4% (95% CI, 68.2-84.9%), 66.0% (95% CI, 56.2%-75.0%), and 61.9% (95% CI, 51.9%-71.2%) at 5-12 days, 1 month, 3 months, and 6 months after treatment. Additionally, there have been numerous randomized, placebo-controlled trials in patients with chronic prostatitis that have studied α-blockers, steroid inhibitors, anti-inflammatory agents, and bioflavonoids. Treatment responses to α-blockers appear to be greater with longer durations of therapy in α-blocker-naïve patients (National Institutes of Health-Chronic Prostatitis Symptom Index [NIH-CPSI] score reduction of at least 3.6 points after 6 weeks of tamsulosin therapy [P = 0.04] and up to 14.3 and 9.9 point NIH-CPSI score reductions with 14 weeks of terazosin and 24 weeks of alfuzosin therapy, respectively [P = 0.01 for both]). Combination therapy with an α-blocker, an anti-inflammatory, and a muscle relaxant does not appear to offer significant advantages over monotherapy (12.7 vs 12.4 point reduction in NIH-CPSI scores) and a stepwise approach to therapy involving antibiotics followed by bioflavonoids and then α-blockers appears to effectively reduce symptoms for up to 1 year in patients with chronic prostatitis (mean NIH-CPSI point reduction of 9.5 points compared with baseline, P < 0.0001). Patients who have had multiple unsuccessful treatment regimens may benefit from direct stimulation of the pelvic muscles through electromagnetic or electroacupuncture therapy.

CONCLUSIONS:

Prostatitis can resemble various other medical conditions but proper classification and an understanding of the pharmacologic features and expectations of the medications used to treat it can help identify effective treatment strategies. Fluoroquinolones are the preferred agents for treating bacterial causes of prostatitis and have demonstrated efficacy in some cases of chronic prostatitis when an organism has not been identified. However, the use of agents with anti-inflammatory or antiadrenergic properties may be necessary in combination with or after trying antimicrobial agents.

PMID:
21459307
DOI:
10.1016/j.amjopharm.2011.02.005
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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