Injections of botulinum toxin A (botox) into the prostate are a promising alternative treatment for the millions of men who have benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), a condition commonly referred to as enlarged prostate, according to a study conducted by the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and Chang Gung Memorial Hospital in Taiwan.
Results will be presented today at the annual meeting of the American Urological Association (AUA) in San Francisco and published in abstract 1524 in the AUA proceedings. "For most men, enlarged prostate is considered to be an uncomfortable inevitability of aging," said Michael Chancellor, M.D., professor of urology and gynecology at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. "Common treatments can have serious side effects, including impotence. We have completed a number of studies that have shown botox injections are a safe and effective treatment for conditions of the lower urinary tract; in this study, we have shown the same may be true for using botox injections for enlarged prostate."
Eleven patients, ranging in age from 50 to 82 years, who had symptomatic BPH that did not respond to alpha-blocker treatment, received injections of botox into their prostate.
Three to seven days post-injection the patients showed a decrease in irritative symptoms as indicated by a reduction in the international prostate symptom score by 62.3 percent and improvement in the quality of life index by 56.5 percent. Patients also experienced a significant increase in flow rate, and a small decrease in residual urine and prostate size. Patients did not experience any significant side effects including stress urinary incontinence, retrograde ejaculation or erectile dysfunction.
BPH is one of the most common diseases affecting men. More than half of all men over the age of 60, and 80 percent by age 80, will have enlarged prostates. Forty to 50 percent will develop symptoms of BPH, which include more frequent urination, urinary tract infections, the inability to completely empty the bladder, and, in severe cases, the eventual damage of the bladder and kidneys.