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Role of alpha1-blockers in chronic prostatitis syndromes.

Category III chronic prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome (CP/CPPS) is the most commonly diagnosed prostatitis syndrome. CP/CPPS is characterized by lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS) of which pain (particularly perineal pain and pain on ejaculation) and dysfunctional voiding cause the greatest morbidity and poor quality of life. There is no standard treatment for CP/CPPS. Patients report only transient relief of symptoms from currently available therapies and are frequently required to change treatments. The origin of LUTS and possibly the pelvic pain (e.g. on ejaculation) is thought to be prolonged smooth muscle contraction in the bladder and prostate, caused by alpha(1)-adrenoceptor activation. alpha(1)-Blockers are not indicated in the treatment of CP/CPPS but clinical experience suggests that they might be of benefit, possibly by promoting smooth muscle relaxation. Encouraging results of three phase II, randomized, placebo-controlled trials evaluating (using a validated instrument) the efficacy of alfuzosin, tamsulosin and terazosin in alpha(1)-blocker-naïve patients with CP/CPPS, support this hypothesis. The National Institute of Health and the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases are currently conducting a large phase III trial in 272 newly diagnosed and alpha(1)-blocker-naïve CP/CPPS patients randomized to received alfuzosin 10 mg once daily or placebo for 12 weeks.

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