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Enlarged Prostate (BPH) medications and Alcohol Interactions

Medically reviewed by L. Anderson, PharmD Last updated on Nov 7, 2017.

The prostate gland is a small gland that is part of the male reproductive tract found below the bladder and in front of the rectum. Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) is a male condition in which the prostate gland grows larger than normal, but it is not cancerous. This gland produces a fluid that mixes with sperm to make semen.

Drug Classes Used for BPH:

When combined with alcohol, alpha blockers like tamsulosin (Flomax) and silodosin (Rapaflo) may increase the risk of low blood pressure and possible fainting upon standing (orthostatic hypotension). Headache, dizziness, lightheadedness, fainting, and/or changes in pulse or heart rate may occur. These effects may be most common at the beginning of treatment, when a dose is increased, or when treatment is restarted after an interruption. Jalyn, a combination alpha blocker (tamsulosin) and 5-alpha-reductase inhibitor (dutasteride) is also available for BPH treatment, and may have a similar interaction.

Tadalafil (Cialis), a 5-alpha-reductase inhibitor (PDE5 inhibitor) used for erectile dysfunction, is also approved for treatment of BPH and can have an additive effect to lower blood pressure when combined with alcohol. You may also experience symptoms such as dizziness, lightheadedness, fainting, flushing, headache, and heart palpitations with this drug. These effects may be more prominent at the beginning of therapy. Avoid or limit use of alcohol with tadalafil treatment.

5-alpha-reductase inhibitors such as finasteride (Proscar) and dutasteride (Avodart) prevent the conversion of testosterone to dihydrotestosterone (DHT) in the body. DHT is involved in the development of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). In product labeling, these drugs are not noted to interact with alcohol.

Common Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia Medications

Generic Name Common Brand Names
alfuzosin Uroxatral
doxazosin Cardura, Cardura XL
dutasteride Avodart
dutasteride and tamsulosin Jalyn
finasteride Proscar
silodosin Rapaflo
tamsulosin Flomax
terazosin Hytrin
tadalafil Cialis

*Note: This is not a complete drug list; always check with your pharmacist for possible drug-alcohol interactions.

Types of Drug Interactions With Alcohol

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.