Pharmacotherapy strategies in chronic prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome management

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Importance of the field: Chronic prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome (CP/CPPS) is one of the most common diagnoses arising out of urologic office visits. It is a costly problem and sufferers compare the effect of this syndrome on quality of life as being similar to the effects of diabetes mellitus and myocardial infarction. The syndrome is variable in presentation and symptom management and efficacy will vary between inflicted men. Areas covered in this review: CP/CPPS is not highly responsive to therapy. As such, it is often a waxing and waning illness with symptoms in multiple domains, including urinary symptoms, pain and ejaculatory dysfunction. The pharmacotherapeutic options and management strategies for CP/CPPS presented in this review are based on the published literature from September 1989 to January 2010. When available, randomized, placebo-controlled studies were reviewed to aid in making definitive recommendations for treatment strategies. What the reader will gain: The reader will be familiarized with the commonly used classes of pharmaceutical and non-pharmaceutical therapies. Readers will then use the efficacy data to inform treatment decisions for patients with disparate symptomatology. This will be crystallized in the author's treatment algorithm and summary statement. Take home message: Many practitioners use antimicrobials as a first-line agent, particularly a fluoroquinolone, such as levofloxacin. Trimethoprim/ sulfamethoxazole is another medication alternative, with comparable response rates. Many afflicted men will have significant improvement on a 4- to 6-week regimen of a fluoroquinolone antibiotic. Second-line pharmacotherapy includes alpha-blockers, 5-alpha reductase inhibitors and anti-inflammatories for men with urinary symptoms or pain as a predominant symptom domain. Other pharmacotherapy includes steroids, glycosaminoglycans and phytotherapy. Surgical options are generally not recommended for CP/CPPS. Despite the lack of curative therapies, effective symptom management can be achieved with knowledge of the classes of pharmacotherapy. Therapeutic decisions can be based on the symptoms of the patient. Pelvic floor physical therapy is a useful second-line therapy in the author's opinion, but randomized controlled trials and standardization of technique for CP/CPPS are needed before recommendations can be substantiated.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1255-1261
Number of pages7
JournalExpert Opinion on Pharmacotherapy
Issue number8
StatePublished - Jun 1 2010


  • Chronic pelvic pain syndrome
  • Prostatitis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmacology (medical)

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