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The utilization of benign prostatic hyperplasia and bladder-related medications after a transurethral prostatectomy


Objective — To determine how often prostate- and bladder-specific medications for lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS) are used following a transurethral prostatectomy (TURP).

Methods — This study utilized several linked, routinely collected datasets from the province of Ontario, Canada to identify men older than 66 years who underwent their first TURP between April 2003 and March 2016. The primary outcome was the probability of using at least 30 days of either prostate-specific alpha blockers (AB), 5-alpha reductase inhibitors (5ARI), or anticholinergics/beta-3 agonists (AC/B3) after their TURP.

Results — We identified 58,038 men (median age 75), with a median follow-up of 4.9 years. In the 6 months prior to their TURP, AB, 5ARIs or AC/B3 were used by 62%, 32%, and 6% respectively. Following a 90-day washout period after TURP, these medications were used by 27%, 20%, and 15% of men respectively. The cumulative probability of using these medications within the first 10 years after TURP was 38%, 28%, and 20%, respectively. Family physicians prescribed the majority of AB, while urologists prescribed the majority of the AC/B3. Among men on AC/B3 prior to TURP, 46% used them after TURP; in multivariate cox regression analysis age ≥75, diabetes, preoperative use of AC/B3, and no preoperative urinary retention predicted postoperative utilization of AC/B3 medications.

Conclusions — There is considerable use of AB and 5ARIs despite a lack of evidence for using these medications after a TURP. Given the well-characterized placebo response in BPH patients, this practice should be properly evaluated for clinical efficacy.



Campbell J, Reid J, Ordon M, Welk B. Urology. 2019; 130:126-31. Epub 2019 May 23.

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