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BJU Int. 2012 Oct;110(7):1014-22. doi: 10.1111/j.1464-410X.2012.11088.x. Epub 2012 Apr 3.

α-blockers, antibiotics and anti-inflammatories have a role in the management of chronic prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome.

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  • 1Section for Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Ramathibodi Hospital, Mahidol University, Bangkok, Thailand.


Study Type - Therapy (systematic review) Level of Evidence 1a. What's known on the subject? and What does the study add? Individual clinical trials evaluating antibiotics, anti-inflammatories and α-blockers for the treatment of chronic prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome have shown only modest or even no benefits for patients compared with placebo, yet we continue to use these agents in selected patients with some success in clinical practice. This network meta-analysis of current evidence from all available randomized placebo-controlled trials with similar inclusion criteria and outcome measures shows that these '3-As' of chronic prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome treatment (antibiotics, anti-inflammatories and α-blockers) do offer benefits to some patients, particularly if we use them strategically in selected individuals.


To provide an updated network meta-analysis mapping α-blockers, antibiotics and anti-inflammatories (the 3-As) in chronic prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome (CP/CPPS). • To use the results of this meta-analysis to comment on the role of the 3-As in clinical practice.


We updated a previous review including only randomized controlled studies employing the National Institutes of Health Chronic Prostatitis Symptom Index (NIH-CPSI) as one of the outcomes to compare treatment effects in CP/CPPS patients. • A longitudinal mixed regression model (network meta-analysis) was applied to indirectly assess multiple treatment comparisons (i.e. α-blockers, antibiotics, anti-inflammatory/immune modulation therapies, α-blockers plus antibiotics, and placebo).


Nineteen studies (1669 subjects) were eligible for analysis. • α-blockers, antibiotics and anti-inflammatory/immune modulation therapies were associated with significant improvement in symptoms when compared with placebo, with mean differences of total CPSI of -10.8 (95% CI -13.2 to -8.3; P < 0.001), -9.7 (95% CI -14.2 to -5.3; P < 0.001) and -1.7 (95% CI -3.2 to -0.2; P= 0.032) respectively, while α-blockers plus antibiotics resulted in the greatest CPSI difference (-13.6, 95% CI -16.7 to -10.6; P < 0.001). • With respect to responder analysis compared with placebo, anti-inflammatories showed the greatest response rates (risk ratio 1.7, 95% CI 1.4-2.1; P < 0.001) followed by α-blockers (risk ratio 1.4, 95% CI 1.1-1.8; P= 0.013) and antibiotics (risk ratio 1.2, 95% CI 0.7-1.9; P= 0.527).


α-blockers, antibiotics and/or anti-inflammatory/immune modulation therapy appear to be beneficial for some patients with CP/CPPS. • The magnitude of effect and the disconnect between mean CPSI decrease and response rates compared with placebo suggest that directed multimodal therapy, rather than mono-therapy, with these agents should be considered for optimal management of CP/CPPS.

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