Two medicines commonly used to treat an enlarged prostate may raise the risk for Type 2 diabetes, according to new research from the University of Edinburgh.
Published in BMJ, the study compared men using one of two similar drugs — finasteride (brand name Proscar) and dutasteride (Avodart) — to men in a control group taking tamsulosin (Flomax). After controlling for factors that can increase the risk of Type 2 diabetes, such as body-mass index, smoking, high blood pressure and alcohol consumption, the researchers found that men taking Avodart had a 32 percent increased risk for Type 2 diabetes and those taking Proscar had a 26 percent increased risk of diabetes compared to those taking Flomax.
“We found that commonly prescribed medications for prostate disease can increase risk of Type 2 diabetes. These findings will be particularly important for health screening in older men who are already typically at a higher risk of Type 2 diabetes,” stated researcher Ruth Andrew, PhD. “We will now continue our studies to better understand the long-term outcomes so we can better identify patients at greater risk.”
Patients should continue taking the medicines, according to the researchers, but may need additional health checks.