Impotence drug treats prostate enlargement: study

WASHINGTON Tue Aug 19, 2008 1:09am EDT

Two boxes with the new anti-impotence drug Cialis (tadafil) are pictured in a Munich pharmacy February 4, 2003. REUTERS/Michael Dalder

Two boxes with the new anti-impotence drug Cialis (tadafil) are pictured in a Munich pharmacy February 4, 2003.

Credit: Reuters/Michael Dalder

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Impotence drugs may be able to help reduce the symptoms caused by enlarged prostates, such as trouble urinating, U.S. researchers reported on Tuesday.

Men who took Eli Lilly and Co's Cialis every day had fewer symptoms, such as urinary frequency, urgency, intermittence, straining, incomplete emptying or a weak urinary stream, they reported in the journal Urology.

With about 50 percent of men over 50 suffering from some version of this problem, the study suggests a large potential market for erectile dysfunction drugs.

Researchers at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas, Northwestern University in Chicago and Lilly Research Laboratories tested more than 1,000 men with enlarged prostates -- a condition known as benign prostatic hyperplasia or BPH.

Some got various doses of Cialis, known generically as tadalafil, while some got a placebo. Those who got Cialis were more likely to report their symptoms had improved, and a relatively low dose of 5 mg a day did the trick, reported the researchers, led by UTSW's Dr. Claus Roehrborn.

Cialis caused relatively few side effects, they added, in contrast to the drugs now used to treat BPH.

"Although they are effective, each of these drug classes can produce unwanted side effects, including dizziness, hypotension (low blood pressure) and sexual dysfunction," they wrote.

(Reporting by Maggie Fox; editing by Mohammad Zargham)

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