Treating Prostatitis Effectively

A Challenge for Clinicians

Nhuan Nguyen, PharmD, MBA, CHE


US Pharmacist. 2014;39(4):35-41. 

In This Article

Abstract and Introduction


Prostatitis, which affects 5% to 9% of males and occurs mostly in middle age, is classified based on signs and symptoms, with urinary urgency, frequency, and pain typical in nearly all categories. Most physicians are not familiar with prostatitis, particularly chronic prostatitis associated with chronic pelvic pain syndrome (CP/CPPS). Accordingly, patients are often misdiagnosed and receive ineffective treatment, resulting in poor quality of life. CP/CPPS is challenging to treat, as its causes are not clearly defined and the antibiotics used for therapy have low effective rates. Clinical pharmacists can contribute significantly to patient care by advising physicians and other medical professionals regarding drug efficacy, adverse drug reactions, and drug interactions, and by assisting in the selection of optimal antibiotics and/or treatment regimens for prostatitis.


Prostatitis (inflammation of the prostate gland), which occurs in 5% to 9% of males aged 18 years and older, most often develops in middle age.[1] In the early 1990s, prostatitis accounted for about 1% and 8% of office visits to family practitioners and urologists, respectively.[1]

In most cases, patients with prostatitis experience urinary urgency, frequency, and pain, all of which significantly impact quality of life (QOL).[1–8] It is believed that the QOL of patients with prostatic pain is similar to that of patients with acute myocardial infarction, unstable angina, or active Crohn's disease.[1] A 2009 survey of 556 primary care physicians in Boston, Chicago, and Los Angeles found that only 62% saw patients for prostatitis; surprisingly, 48% of physicians surveyed were not familiar with prostatitis and 16% were unfamiliar with chronic prostatitis associated with chronic pelvic pain syndrome (CP/CPPS).[4] Consequently, the diagnosis and effective treatment of prostatitis, especially CP/CPPS, pose a challenge for clinicians.