Anti-inflammatory medications have been used for the treatment of chronic prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome (CP/CPPS), given that inflammation and pain are traditionally associated with this condition. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) classification divides category III into (1) category IIIA - patients with white blood cells (WBCs) in their expressed prostatic secretions, post-prostate massage urine (voided bladder urine-3 [VB3]) or semen; and (2) category IIIB - those without WBCs. However, recent studies indicate that the ability of WBC count alone to distinguish men with symptoms from those without appears limited. Other markers of inflammation, such as cytokines, may correlate better with clinical findings. The mechanisms of inflammation continue to be investigated, including contributions from reactive oxygen species, autoimmune response, neurogenic inflammation, and even endocrine dysfunction. There have been few controlled studies of anti-inflammatory therapy for chronic prostatitis. In the only randomized double-blind placebo-controlled trial, the NIH-Chronic Prostatitis Symptom Index (CPSI) total, domain, and pain scores significantly decreased from baseline in all groups, but the difference was not statistically significant. Other medications that have some theoretic anti-inflammatory properties have shown promising early results. Further study of currently available anti-inflammatory medications may be warranted, especially in longer trials, which may allow resolution of the significant placebo effect commonly seen in the short term in men with CPPS. Further discussion is needed to either validate, modify, or abolish the distinction between category IIIA and IIIB in the NIH classification.
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