Enlarged Prostate Meds May Increase Diabetes Risk

Men who took either of two widely prescribed drugs to treat an enlarged prostate were found to be at increased risk for type 2 diabetes, a new study says.

Researchers looked at 39,000 men who took either finasteride (Proscar) and dutasteride (Avodart). They were compared to a control group of 16,000 men who took tamsulosin (Flomax), a different type of drug for enlarge prostate, The New York Times reported.

Over 11 years, the risk of developing diabetes was 32 percent higher among men who took Avodart and 26 percent higher among those who took Proscar, compared to those who took Flomax.

The study was published in the BMJ.

The increased risk of diabetes among men taking Avodart and Proscar is slight -- about an extra 16 cases for every 1,000 men treated over 10 years -- but it still a significant public health issue, according to study lead author Li Wei, associate professor, School of Pharmacy, University College London, U.K., The Times reported.

"We don't want anyone to suddenly change their drug," she said. "But you need to discuss it with a physician, especially if you are already at high risk for diabetes. You have to look at the overall picture of your condition in order to make a decision" about the best course of treatment."

Men with an enlarged prostate -- benign prostate hypertrophy (BPH) -- can have difficulty urinating or increased frequency and urgency of urination.

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