Saw Palmetto Compared To Flomax for Treatment of Prostatitis

Saw Palmetto vs Flomax for chronic prostatitis is something many men who are looking for treatment for prostatitis ask about. Chronic prostatitis is a challenging condition to treat: just ask any man who suffers with this prostate disorder and its many symptoms. Now a new study has compared saw palmetto and tamsulosin (Flomax) in chronic prostatitis treatment, and based on the results, saw palmetto appears to be a good choice for men with chronic prostatitis.

Tamsulosin is a drug typically prescribed to treat symptoms of BPH, which include difficulty urinating, painful urination, and urinary urgency and frequency. These same symptoms are experienced by men who have chronic prostatitis. Saw palmetto also is often used by men who suffer with BPH symptoms. Although recent studies have shown saw palmetto is no better than a placebo there is extensive evidence that when combined with stinging nettle and quercetin, there are positive benefits for men with BPH symptoms.

At the recent 27th Annual European Association of Urology Congress, investigators presented their findings on a comparison of Saw Palmetto vs Flomax formulation in the treatment of 157 men (age range, 24 to 61) with chronic prostatitis. Before either saw palmetto or tamsulosin was administered, all the participants were tested for the presence of Gram-negative uropathogens, herpes simplex virus-2 (HSV-2), and Chlamydia trachomatis.

Bacterial prostatitis was discovered in 11.2 percent of the men, while C. trachomatis and HSV-2 were diagnosed in 7.5% and 6.5%, respectively. All the men were treated appropriately before the study treatments were started.

The men were then randomly assigned to receive either saw palmetto 160 mg twice daily or 0.4 mg daily tamsulosin for six weeks. The Chronic Prostatitis Symptom Index (CPSI) was used to evaluate the efficacy of the treatments.

Men in both groups experienced similar significant improvements in their CPSI scores: 72.3% improvement in the saw palmetto group and 75.7% in the tamsulosin group. Saw Palmetto in the test of Saw Palmetto vs Flomax was superior, however, because men who took the herbal formula had a greater decrease in pain scores than did those in the tamsulosin group.

The researchers also noted that when they compared the ability of the pre-study treatments for bacteria, C. trachomatis, and herpes to reduce CPSI scores, the treatments reduced both total CPSI scores and pain scores significantly in 78 percent of the patients.

Overall, saw palmetto appeared to be the better choice in the treatment of men with chronic prostatitis given that its CPSI scores were comparable with those of tamsulosin, plus it provided better pain control.

It should also be noted that tamsulosin is associated with side effects, with the more common ones being cough, fever or chills, lower back or side pain, insomnia, blurry vision, and painful or difficult urination. Side effects of saw palmetto occur infrequently, are usually mild, and may include dizziness, headache, nausea, and constipation.

Source: Presented by Kravchick SG et al at the 27th Annual European Association of Urology Congress, February 24-28, 2012, Paris, France Saw Palmetto vs Flomax