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Drug Offers Relief for Enlarged Prostate

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Q. I have heard that the FDA has approved a new drug to treat symptoms of prostate enlargement. The trouble is that I didn't catch the name. If it is less likely to cause sexual difficulties than finasteride or an alpha-blocker like terazosin, I am very interested. Can you tell me more about this new drug, please?

A. The new drug has actually been on the market for several years for another purpose. Cialis (tadalafil) was the third erectile dysfunction medication approved by the FDA (after Viagra and Levitra).

The recent approval is for benign prostatic hypertrophy (BPH). An enlarged prostate can make it difficult for men to urinate. Drugs like finasteride (Proscar) or terazosin (Hytrin) can help with this symptom but both may interfere with sexual performance.

Because Cialis is used to treat erectile dysfunction, it should overcome this problem while easing urinary symptoms due to BPH. Side effects associated with Cialis include headache, indigestion, nasal congestion, back or muscle pain, flushing, cough, stomachache and diarrhea. Changes in hearing or vision are rare but should be reported to a doctor immediately. Always check with a pharmacist to make sure you are not taking any incompatible medicines with Cialis.

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You mentioned Cialis in your Charlotte Observer article today and I wanted to know if the other ED drugs did the same thing. Is there a generic ED drug that will do the same thing? I as contemplating the the blue light laser surgery, so if this works it might be an alternative. I might try it. If it did, it would eliminate possible side effects of the surgery. I'm still a virile man at 71 and I don't want to ruin it.

Does mean that a daily dose of Cialis substitutes for a daily dose of Finasteride? How many mg?
Thanks. This is helpful.

These are just the side effects that they know about! Good grief. How desperate does someone have to be to use a drug? If anyone was suffering from any of these symptoms, I would assume that they are doing something WRONG and need to stop. Surely, this is like kill or cure?!

....Side effects associated with Cialis include headache, indigestion, nasal congestion, back or muscle pain, flushing, cough, stomachache and diarrhea. Changes in hearing or vision are rare but should be reported to a doctor immediately...

Where can I get documentation that CIalis is now indicated for BPH to show my doctor? I am very interested in this information. Thank you for your help and the articles in the San Antonio Express-News every Monday morning.

One place to look is DailyMed, which has the official prescribing information:
http://dailymed.nlm.nih.gov/dailymed/drugInfo.cfm?id=53720#nlm34067-9

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