Tamsulosin: MedlinePlus Drug Information (2024)

pronounced as (tam soo' loe sin)

  • Why is this medication prescribed?
  • How should this medicine be used?
  • Other uses for this medicine
  • What special precautions should I follow?
  • What should I do if I forget a dose?
  • What side effects can this medication cause?
  • What should I know about storage and disposal of this medication?
  • In case of emergency/overdose
  • What other information should I know?
  • Brand names
  • Brand names of combination products

Why is this medication prescribed?

Tamsulosin is used in men to treat the symptoms of an enlarged prostate (benign prostatic hyperplasia or BPH) which include difficulty urinating (hesitation, dribbling, weak stream, and incomplete bladder emptying), painful urination, and urinary frequency and urgency. Tamsulosin is in a class of medications called alpha blockers. It works by relaxing the muscles in the prostate and bladder so that urine can flow easily.

How should this medicine be used?

Tamsulosin comes as a capsule to take by mouth. It is usually taken once a day. Take tamsulosin 30 minutes after the same meal each day. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take tamsulosin exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor.

Swallow tamsulosin capsules whole; do not split, chew, crush, or open them.

Your doctor will probably start you on a low dose of tamsulosin and may increase your dose after 2 to 4 weeks.

Tamsulosin may help control your condition, but it will not cure it. Continue to take tamsulosin even if you feel well. Do not stop taking tamsulosin without talking to your doctor.

Other uses for this medicine

This medication may be prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

What special precautions should I follow?

Before taking tamsulosin,

  • tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to tamsulosin, sulfa medications, or any other medications.
  • tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, nutritional supplements and herbal products you are taking or plan to take. Be sure to mention any of the following: other alpha blocker medications such as alfuzosin (Uroxatral), doxazosin (Cardura), prazosin (Minipress), and terazosin (Hytrin); anticoagulants ('blood thinners') such as warfarin (Coumadin); cimetidine (Tagamet); and medications for erectile dysfunction (ED) such as sildenafil (Viagra), tadalafil (Cialis), or vardenafil (Levitra); Your doctor may need to change the doses of your medications or monitor you more carefully for side effects.
  • tell your doctor if you have or have ever had prostate cancer or liver or kidney disease.
  • you should know that tamsulosin is only for use in men. Women should not take tamsulosin, especially if they are pregnant or could become pregnant or are breast-feeding. If a pregnant woman takes tamsulosin, she should call her doctor.
  • if you are having surgery, including dental surgery, tell the doctor or dentist that you are taking tamsulosin. If you need to have eye surgery at any time during or after your treatment, be sure to tell your doctor that you are taking or have taken tamsulosin.
  • you should know that this medication may make you drowsy or dizzy. Do not drive a car, operate machinery, or perform dangerous tasks until you know how this medication affects you.
  • you should know that tamsulosin may cause dizziness, lightheadedness, a spinning sensation, and fainting, especially when you get up too quickly from a lying position. This is more common when you first start taking tamsulosin or after your dose is increased. To help avoid this problem, get out of bed slowly, resting your feet on the floor for a few minutes before standing up. Call your doctor if these symptoms are severe or do not go away.

What should I do if I forget a dose?

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember it. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one. If you interrupt your treatment for several days or longer, call your doctor before restarting the medication, especially if you take more than one capsule of tamsulosin a day.

What side effects can this medication cause?

Tamsulosin may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms or those in the SPECIAL PRECAUTIONS section are severe or do not go away:

  • sleepiness
  • difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep
  • weakness
  • back pain
  • diarrhea
  • runny or stuffy nose
  • pain or pressure in the face
  • sore throat, cough, fever, chills, or other signs of infection
  • blurred vision
  • difficulty ejacul*ting

Some side effects can be serious. If you experience any of the following symptoms, call your doctor immediately:

  • painful erection of the penis that lasts for hours
  • rash
  • itching
  • hives
  • swelling of the eyes, face, tongue, lips, throat, arms, hands, feet, ankles, or lower legs

What should I know about storage and disposal of this medication?

Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom).

It is important to keep all medication out of sight and reach of children as many containers (such as weekly pill minders and those for eye drops, creams, patches, and inhalers) are not child-resistant and young children can open them easily. To protect young children from poisoning, always lock safety caps and immediately place the medication in a safe location – one that is up and away and out of their sight and reach. http://www.upandaway.org

Unneeded medications should be disposed of in special ways to ensure that pets, children, and other people cannot consume them. However, you should not flush this medication down the toilet. Instead, the best way to dispose of your medication is through a medicine take-back program. Talk to your pharmacist or contact your local garbage/recycling department to learn about take-back programs in your community. See the FDA's Safe Disposal of Medicines website (http://goo.gl/c4Rm4p) for more information if you do not have access to a take-back program.

In case of emergency/overdose

In case of overdose, call the poison control helpline at 1-800-222-1222. Information is also available online at https://www.poisonhelp.org/help. If the victim has collapsed, had a seizure, has trouble breathing, or can't be awakened, immediately call emergency services at 911.

Symptoms of overdose may include:

  • dizziness
  • fainting
  • blurred vision
  • upset stomach
  • headache

What other information should I know?

Keep all appointments with your doctor.

Do not let anyone else take your medication. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about refilling your prescription.

It is important for you to keep a written list of all of the prescription and nonprescription (over-the-counter) medicines you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should bring this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you are admitted to a hospital. It is also important information to carry with you in case of emergencies.

Brand names

  • Flomax®

Brand names of combination products

  • Jalyn® (containing Dutasteride, Tamsulosin)
Last Revised - 01/15/2018

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Tamsulosin: MedlinePlus Drug Information (2024)


Is tamsulosin a high risk medication? ›

Older adults may be more sensitive to certain tamsulosin side effects, like dizziness and blood pressure changes. These side effects can raise the risk of falls. Tamsulosin has also been linked to a higher risk of dementia.

What are the long term effects of taking tamsulosin? ›

A study looking at the long-term safety and effectiveness of tamsulosin in men who took tamsulosin for six years found that some of the most common adverse effects included infection, accidental injury, runny nose, pain, and sore throat.

Why can't you take tamsulosin? ›

have ever had an allergic reaction to tamsulosin or other similar medicines, such as alfuzosin, doxazosin, prazosin or terazosin. have orthostatic hypotension – a type of low blood pressure that can make you feel dizzy or light-headed when you stand up. have severe liver or kidney problems.

What is the downside of Flomax? ›

Flomax (tamsulosin) is a prescription medication that treats benign prostatic hyperplasia in men. Flomax is well-tolerated overall. But it can cause side effects such as dizziness, headache, and ejacul*tion issues. Flomax side effects are more common when you first start taking it or after a dose increase.

Is tamsulosin bad for the heart? ›

However tamsulosin, like other alpha blockers, does widen blood vessels, reducing blood pressure and causing the heart to beat faster. As with any drug, if chest tightness or pain is experienced while taking tamsulosin, tell the prescribing healthcare provider about the problem.

Is tamsulosin bad for you? ›

Tamsulosin is generally safe to take for a long time. In fact, it works best when you take it for a long time. What will happen if I stop taking it? Stopping tamsulosin suddenly can make your condition worse as your symptoms may return.

How long can you stay on tamsulosin? ›

How long you take it for depends on why you're taking it. For an enlarged prostate, if tamsulosin is helping your symptoms, you can continue to take it long term. Your doctor may check every few months that you're still having relief from symptoms.

Is tamsulosin bad for kidneys? ›

If you have kidney or liver problems, your doctor will recommend if tamsulosin is safe for you to take. People with mild or moderate kidney or liver problems are usually able to take this drug.

Why does tamsulosin stop you from ejacul*ting? ›

Because α1A-adrenoceptors are widely distributed in all organs that participate in the emission phase of ejacul*tion (epididymis, vas deferens, seminal vesicle, prostate gland, prostatic urethra and bladder neck), tamsulosin is suspected to play an inhibitory role during the ejacul*tory emission phase.

Is there a better alternative to tamsulosin? ›

Alfuzosin is an alternative to tamsulosin, and more men ejacul*te as usual with alfuzosin than tamsulosin. 5-alpha reductase inhibitors (5ARI): The commonest used is finasteride and then dutasteride.

What foods to avoid while taking tamsulosin? ›

Sometimes, your healthcare provider may choose alternative therapies to avoid interactions if you have other medical conditions. While taking tamsulosin, avoid grapefruit products and limit consumption of alcohol and caffeine.

What medications Cannot be taken with tamsulosin? ›

Tamsulosin may interact with other medications
  • Acid-blocking drug. Taking cimetidine with tamsulosin can increase the levels of tamsulosin in your body. ...
  • Antibiotic. ...
  • Antidepressant (SSRI) ...
  • Antifungal drugs. ...
  • Erectile dysfunction (ED) drugs. ...
  • Other benign prostatic hyperplasia drug. ...
  • Alpha blockers.

Does tamsulosin improve erectile function? ›

Purpose: Previous studies have revealed that tamsulosin is effective in improving lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS) and erectile functioning but has some inhibitory effects on ejacul*tion, including decreased ejacul*tory volume.

What is the biggest side effect of Flomax? ›

Dizziness, lightheadedness, drowsiness, runny/stuffy nose, or ejacul*tion problems may occur. If any of these effects last or get worse, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly. To reduce the risk of dizziness and lightheadedness, get up slowly when rising from a sitting or lying position.

What is better than Flomax? ›

But Flomax does not work well for everyone. If so, a doctor may recommend one of several other drugs, such as doxazosin (Cardura), finasteride (Proscar), or sildenafil (Viagra). Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) or an enlarged prostate can cause painful and frequent urination, bladder stones, and incontinence.

Does tamsulosin increase risk of dementia? ›

However, the use of tamsulosin considerably increased the risk of dementia associated with medium and high doses, which was also observed with alfuzosin and finasteride. Moreover, age or race did not change; in proportion, the association between tamsulosin use and risk of dementia in almost all analyzes [7,8].

Why would a doctor prescribe tamsulosin to a woman? ›

The most common off-label use of tamsulosin is to assist in the passage of kidney stones by increasing urinary fluid volume and pressure as well as relaxing smooth muscle in the ureters.

Is tamsulosin worth taking? ›

Yes, according to the 2021 treatment guidelines written by the American Urological Association, tamsulosin (Flomax) is one of the first-choice medications for the treatment of moderate to severe BPH.


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