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Urology/Alpha blockers and 5-Alpha Reductase Inhibitors


Hi Stephen,

I have prostatitis, I am 26 years old, don't smoke, drink occasionally. I sent some questions earlier, thank you for your response.

Studying this, I came across two types of drugs Alpha blockers and 5-Alpha Reductase Inhibitors to reduce prostate size.

How do each one of these work in our body? Do both of them reduce testosterone?

While I would like to solve my problem of urination and ED (especially because it's affecting my self-esteem!), I want to limit anything that would reduce testosterone levels in my body too much.

Please let me know about these drugs and what you would suggest I take. Should I reduce on zinc rich foods (as I think zinc increases testosterone)? Thank you.


Alpha blockers relax muscle tissue in the prostate which helps the urinary flow.  There is no actual shrinkage of prostate tissue with alpha blockers.

5ARIs will actually shrink prostate tissue by blocking the conversion of testosterone to dihydrotestosterone inside prostate cells.  Without this change, the prostate tends to shrink but it can take 6 months or longer.

Alpha blockers are usually recommended for most voiding and prostate issues.  Cialis, an ED drug that also works as an alpha blocker, is one option for your problem.

Typically, treatment for prostatitis includes anti-inflammatories (motrin, aleve), antibiotics (cipro), avoidance of caffeine and hot spices, and hot sitz baths.  

Changing your zinc intake is not likely to have any significant effect on the prostate.


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Stephen W. Leslie, MD


Questions concerning erectile dysfunction, kidney stones and prostate disorders including prostate cancer. I have a special interest in kidney stone disease prevention.


Full time practicing urologist with 30 years experience. Associate Professor of Surgery and Chief of Urology at Creighton University Medical Center. Editor in Chief of eMedicine Urology internet textbook. Author of only NIH approved book written for patients by a urologist on the subject of kidney stones "The Kidney Stones Handbook". Inventor of the "Parachute" and "Escape" kidney stone baskets and the "Calculus" stone prevention analysis computer program.

American Urological Association, Ohio State Medical Association, Sexual Medicine Society

Men's Health, Journal of Urology, Urology, Healthwatch Magazine, Emergency Medicine Monthly, eMedicine, "The Kidney Stones Handbook", and numerous articles in various newspapers. He is also the editor of the Urology Board Review by McGraw-Hill used by urologists to study for their Board Certification Examinations.

Graduate of New York Medical College with residencies completed at Metropolitan Hospital New York, Albany Medical Center and University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Awards and Honors
Thirlby Award of the American Urological Association. Rated as one the country's Best Urologists by the Independent Consumer's Research Institute

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