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Yes, I have and enlarged prostate and I have been taking Schiff prostate health over the counter capsules, from Wal-Greens, for about a week. Before this I was taking Saw-Palmetto pills for about a month. Is this going to help me, or should I get a prescribed medication?



Dear Gary,

Saw palmetto (Serenoa repens) is the most commonly used herbal preparation in the treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia.

Saw palmetto is used by over 2 million men in the United States for the treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia and is commonly recommended as an alternative to drugs approved by the Food and Drug Administration.

There are studies where saw palmetto did not improve symptoms or objective measures of benign prostatic hyperplasia.

Numerous human trials report that saw palmetto improves symptoms of benign prostatic hypertrophy (BPH) such as nighttime urination, urinary flow, and overall quality of life, although it may not greatly reduce the size of the prostate.

The effectiveness may be similar to the medication finasteride (Proscar®) with fewer side effects. Although the quality of these studies has been variable, overall they suggest effectiveness.

Saw palmetto has not been thoroughly compared to other types of drugs used for BPH, such as doxazosin (Cardura®) or terazosin (Hytrin®). Most available studies have assessed the standardized saw palmetto product Permixon®.

Although a 2003 study by Willetts et al. reported no difference over a 12-week period and a 2006 well-designed study by Bent et al. reported no difference over a 12-month period, overall the weight of available scientific evidence favors the effectiveness of saw palmetto over placebo.

Schiff Prostate Health is a combination of natural ingredients, scientifically formulated to promote healthy prostate function.

Schiff Prostate Health contains Lycopene, the red color compound of tomatoes and standardized Saw Palmetto extract.
Schiff uses a supercritical fluid extract (CO2) method to concentrate the lipid fractions of Saw Palmetto berries without use of harsh solvents.

Medications are the most common way to control mild to moderate symptoms of BPH. They're the preferred way to treat BPH, unless your condition is severe enough to require surgery.

Medications significantly reduce major symptoms for about two-thirds of men who try them. If medications don't work, a minimally invasive treatment or surgery may be the best option.

The two types of medications currently used to treat BPH are alpha blockers and enzyme inhibitors.

Alpha blockers relax muscles around your bladder neck and make it easier to urinate. Four alpha blockers have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for treatment of BPH (benign prostatic hyperplasia):
Terazosin (Hytrin)
Doxazosin (Cardura)
Tamsulosin (Flomax)
Alfuzosin (Uroxatral)

All four alpha blockers are equally effective. Terazosin and doxazosin cost slightly less and tend to cause low blood pressure more often .

Enzyme (5-alpha-reductase) inhibitors shrink the prostate gland. Two have been approved by the FDA for BPH (benign prostatic hyperplasia):
Finasteride (Proscar)
Dutasteride (Avodart)
Both drugs are equally effective. They cost more than alpha blockers.

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