For men who decide to use medication for their BPH symptoms, combination BPH drug treatments may be an option. The results of a four-year study (CombAT, or Combination of Avodart and Tamsulosin) found that while use of either Avodart (dutasteride) or tamsulosin (Flomax) alone provided symptom relief, men who took a combination of the two BPH drugs experienced even better results. Based on the results of the CombAT study, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved Jalyn, a single drug that combines both dutasteride and tamsulosin.
In the CombAT study, researchers evaluated 4,844 men 50 years or older who had moderate to severe BPH. The men were assigned to one of three treatment groups: dutasteride alone, tamsulosin alone, or the two drugs combined. Men who took the combination therapy reported fewer symptoms than men in the other two treatment groups, and the investigators also found that the combination therapy reduced prostate volume by 25 percent.
Specifically, when compared with tamsulosin alone, combination treatment reduced acute urinary retention by 67 percent and the need for BPH-related surgery by 70 percent. Men with BPH now have a single treatment option, Jalyn, that combines the benefits of two drugs known to be effective in treating BPH, tamsulosin and dutasteride.
All therapy regimens employed in the study appear to be generally well-tolerated. The profile of events for combination therapy was consistent with those reported for monotherapies. The most common adverse events for combination therapy were erectile dysfunction (7.4%), retrograde ejaculation (4.2%) and altered or decreased libido (3.4%). The most common adverse events for Avodart monotherapy were erectile dysfunction (6.0%), altered or decreased libido (2.8%) and breast enlargement (1.8%), while the most common adverse events for tamsulosin monotherapy were erectile dysfunction (3.8%), altered or decreased libido (1.7%) and dizziness (1.7%).
Roehrborn CG et al. Effect of dutasteride on prostate biopsy rates and the diagnosis of prostate cancer in men with lower urinary tract symptoms and enlarged prostates in the combination of Avodart and tamsulosin trial. Eur Urol 2010 Nov 4