Clinical Studies| Volume 17, ISSUE 5, P956-969, September 1995

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Efficacy, tolerability, and effect on health-related quality of life of finasteride versus placebo in men with symptomatic benign prostatic hyperplasia: a community-based study

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      This study sought to assess the efficacy, tolerability, and effect of finasteride on health-related quality of life (HRQL) in a diverse population of men with moderate-to-severe symptomatic benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). This double-blind study evaluated finasteride and placebo for 12 months in 2342 men with BPH (16.2% black, 14.5% Hispanic, 69.3% Caucasian/other) in a community-based setting. At 3-month intervals, urinary symptoms were measured by use of the American Urologic Association symptom index. HRQL was assessed by use of the BPH impact index (BII), which evaluated degree of bother, worry, physical discomfort, and restriction in activities as a result of urinary symptoms. Additional questions regarding activities of living were administered, and global assessments of change in urologic status were performed by both patients and investigators. Compared with placebo, patients treated with finasteride had a statistically significant decrease in symptom scores when first measured at month 3. Symptom scores continued to improve in finasteride-treated patients throughout the study; at month 12, the mean decrease in symptom scores in the finasteride-treated patients was −4.8 compared with −3.4 for placebo patients (P = 0.0001). Statistically significant differences in favor of finasteride also were noted at month 12 on the BII (P = 0.0465), and finasteride-treated patients experienced less interference with activities of living (P = 0.0518). Patient and investigator global assessments of urologic status showed that significantly more patients in the finasteride group considered themselves improved and were considered improved by investigators at month 12 (P = 0.000). Finasteride was generally well tolerated. The incidence of drug-related sexual adverse experiences was significantly higher in the finasteride group (P = 0.000), but led to withdrawal in only 1.5% of patients. The demonstrated efficacy and tolerability of finasteride in reducing symptoms and improving quality of life confirm observations of previous trials and make finasteride a highly desirable treatment option for many men with symptomatic BPH.
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