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Medications for Andropause

 The following is a list of some of the most commonly used medications for the treatment of the symptoms associated with andropause.  Some of these medications can interact with one another and some may be used in combination with one another, if appropriate.  These medications have found to be effective in managing the symptoms of andropause, however, natural therapies are equally effective, if not more effective, than prescription drugs.  Naturopathic doctors in Arizona have prescription rights, meaning that your naturopathic doctor can write you a prescription for most, if not all of these drugs, if he or she feels it is necessary.

Treatments for Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH)

·         Proscar (Finasteride) – This is a popular treatment for BPH, that functions by interfering with the action of 5 alpha-reductase which is the enzyme that converts testosterone into DHT in the prostate gland.  It operates under the premise that the body is producing too much testosterone and subsequently too much DHT causing the rapid proliferation of prostate cells and an enlarged prostate.  Most of the studies have shown that this prescription is most beneficial for men with severely enlarged prostates and with more severe symptoms of BPH.  Although it helps with the urinary symptoms of BPH, it may cause adverse reactions like erectile dysfunction, decreased libido, and ejaculatory dysfunction.

·         Prazosin, Terazosin, Doxazosin – These drugs work by dilating small arteries and veins thereby reducing blood pressure and promoting relaxation of the bladder and the smooth muscle in the prostate gland.  Caution should be used with these drugs as they can cause drastic drop in blood pressure making the chance for fainting or losing consciousness more commonplace.  Before starting drugs of this kind, tell your doctor if you are on other medications that lower blood pressure as the combination of both can make the loss of blood pressure more serious and syncopal episodes more likely.  Also talk to your doctor if you are an older man who has a history of weakened bones, as studies have shown that falls from losing consciousness after starting on these drugs is correlated with higher death rates from hip fractures.

Treatment for Impotence

·         Viagra (Sildenafil), Cialis (Tadalafil), Levitra (Vardenafil) – These drugs all work essentially the same way, although Cialis has been shown to last longer than the other medications used for impotence and erectile dysfunction.  These medications work by increasing nitric oxide in the penis by inhibiting an enzyme called phosphodiesterase which normally breaks down a chemical compound called cGMP.  This helps to relax arterial walls in the penis, allowing for initiation and maintenance of erection.  Common side effects of these drugs include headache, flushing of the face and/or chest, bluish visual tint, priapism (an erection lasting longer than 4 hours), and incomplete or insufficient erection.  These drugs should not be used with other nitrate drugs, such as nitroglycerine, and should be used with caution if combined with blood pressure medications or if you have a history of congestive heart failure, angina, or heart attack. 

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