What Is Tamsulosin?

Tamsulosin is mainly prescribed to treat enlarged prostate in men and the subsequent side effect of this condition. Know its uses, dosage, interactions......

Tamsulosin is prescribed to those who are suffering from enlarged prostate to help relieve the symptoms of this condition. This medication is intended to help relax the muscles around the prostate, but the prostate may continue to get larger during this treatment. While this medication reduces your risk, severe prostate conditions may still require surgery in the future. You will need to monitor your condition carefully with your doctor to make sure your side effects are not the result of a dangerous condition such as cancer that will require additional treatment.

Indications and Usage

Tamsulosin is sold under the name Flomax. This medication is used to treat benign enlargement of the prostate, which can cause difficulty in emptying your bladder when the muscles around the prostate tighten and put pressure on the surrounding organ systems. Tamsulosin is available as a capsule which is to be taken orally once a day. You should take this medication 30 minutes after taking a meal. Try to take your medication around the same time every day to help ensure that you do not get spiking levels of tamsulosin in your system. Do not split, crush, open or chew your capsule when you take it as this can cause your body to absorb your medication too quickly which could cause a negative reaction.

Tamsulosin is not intended to cure enlarged prostate, so if your symptoms are eliminated you should still continue to take your medication as prescribed. Do not stop taking tamsulosin suddenly or without the consent of your doctor as this can cause a negative reaction.

Tamsulosin Dosage

Dosing for tamsulosin is very basic. Patients will be given .4 mg per day initially, which your doctor may increase based on how your body reacts to treatment. Low doses are often given for 2-4 weeks and then you will be checked to determine if an increase in your dosing size is necessary. Regular monitoring is necessary to ensure that your condition is progressing the way it should be.

Tamsulosin is only intended for use in men so there are no recommended doses for women and children. In the case that a woman or child accidently takes tamsulosin, contact your doctor to get advice on how to proceed.

Those who suffer from liver or kidney disease may not be able to take tamsulosin. These conditions can be made worse by constant exposure to this medication. Talk with your doctor to help determine what level of medication is right for you.

Table 1: Tamsulosin Dosage


Usual Dosage

Special Dosage

Benign prostatic hyperplasia

.4 mg once a day, which may be increased as needed

Tamsulosin should not be used in women or children.

Tamsulosin Side Effects

Side effects of tamsulosin include abnormal ejaculation which has been reported in 18.1 percent of users, runny or stuffy nose in 17.9 percent, dizziness in 17.1 percent, infections including the flu or colds in 10.8, body pain in 8.5 percent, back pain in 8.3 percent of users, diarrhea in 6.2 percent of users and sore throat in 5.8 percent of users. These side effects are not dangerous, but you should report any side effects to your doctor that do not get better over time, especially if they begin to get worse.

Additional side effects of tamsulosin, which occur in 1-5 percent of users, include increased coughing, chest pain, sleepiness, upset stomach, decreased sex drive, sinus infection, blurred vision, trouble sleeping, tooth issues and vertigo. Let your doctor know if any of these side effects persist for a long period of time or if they proceed to get worse at any point during your prescription.

Lightheadedness, fainting, dizziness, hives, itching, wheezing, swelling, unexplained skin rash or difficulty breathing are signs that you are developing a negative reaction to this medication, including an allergic reaction. Stop taking your tamsulosin dose and contact emergency medical services as soon as these side effects begin to appear.

If you suddenly begin to experience fainting, dizziness, upset stomach, blurred vision or headache you may be suffering from an overdose of tamsulosin. Contact emergency medical services immediately to get the necessary treatment for your condition.

Table 2: Tamsulosin Side Effects

Types of Side Effects


Common Side Effects

Abnormal ejaculation, runny nose, stuffy nose, dizziness, infections such as the cold or flu, body pain, back pain, diarrhea and sore throat.

Uncommon Side Effects

Increased coughing, chest pain, sleepiness, upset stomach, decreased sex drive, sinus infection, blurred vision, trouble sleeping, tooth issues and vertigo

Serious Side Effects

Lightheadedness, fainting, dizziness, hives, itching, wheezing, swelling, unexplained skin rash or difficulty breathing


Fainting, dizziness, upset stomach, blurred vision or headache


You should not take cimetidine, conivaptan, cyclosporine, imatinib, isoniazid, methimazole, pioglitazone, ropinirole, ticlopidine, warfarin, antibiotics, antidepressants, antifungal medication, anti-malaria medication, erectile dysfunction medications, heart medication, blood pressure medication, heart rhythm medication, HIV or AIDS medication, or medications used to treat psychiatric disorders while using tamsulosin. These medications can interfere with your body's ability to absorb your medication the way that you should, which can cause a potentially dangerous reaction.

Tamsulosin will affect your ability to think or react at your normal pace. You should not do any activities that require your full attention such as driving until you know how this medication will affect you.

Because this medication causes dizziness you will need to take care when getting up from a resting position. Take your time and steady yourself so you do not fall and cause injury. You should also take care to avoid becoming overheated when exercising or spending time in warm temperatures so you do not fall or faint. Drinking alcohol can increase this risk.



Diovan is used to manage high blood pressure. This medication is often prescribed in addition to other medications to manage your condition.

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