Two Prostate Drugs Linked to Type 2 Diabetes Risk

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.

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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.

Want to learn about Type 2 diabetes testing? Read “Diagnostic Tests for Type 2 Diabetes” and “Diabetes Testing: Type 2 Diabetes.”

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