In this session, we will be discussing the consumer medication information for tamsulosin, trade name FlomaxTM

What it’s for & How to take

Tamsulosin is also used in men to treat an enlarged prostate not caused by cancer. This condition is called benign prostatic hypertrophy or BPH for short.

As men age, the prostate slowly grows. This may cause uncomfortable urinary symptoms. These symptoms include urinating often, feeling like you need to urinate all the time, getting up many times at night to urinate, and difficulty starting a urine stream.

Tamsulosin will help relax the muscles in your prostate and the opening of your bladder. This may help your urine flow more easily. Your prostate will continue to grow, and over time this medication may not work as well.

Tamsulosin is usually taken 30 minutes after the same meal once daily. The starting dose is one capsule, however, after some time your doctor may increase your dose. Your dose is based on your condition and response to therapy.

If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time of your next dose, skip it and continue with your normal dose time. Do not take a double dose to make up the missed dose.

If you have been taking this medication on a regular basis and then miss several days in a row, contact your doctor before restarting your dose. Your doctor may start with a low dose, and gradually increase your dose as tolerated.

You may need to wait 4-6 weeks before you notice a benefit from the medication. If your symptoms get worse or do not get any better after 6 weeks, notify your doctor.

Warnings & Cautions

  • The first dose of tamsulosin may make you very dizzy or cause you to faint. Take your first dose after you are sitting on your bed at bedtime. Any time your dose is increased, take the new dose while sitting on your bed just before bedtime.
  • Rarely, tamsulosin will cause a prolonged and painful erection lasting up to 4 hours. If this happens to you, seek medical help right away before damage occurs.
  • While taking this medication, your body does not sweat as much. In hot temperatures, the body may have a difficult time cooling itself. This may lead to heat stroke. Help prevent heat stroke while taking this medication. Avoid exercise in hot weather, saunas, or anything else which may increase your body temperature. Drink plenty of water.
  • This medication may make you feel light-headed or dizzy. Take it slow when you go from a sitting to standing position. Balance yourself to make sure you are stable before taking a step.
  • The elderly may be more sensitive to the side effects of this medication, especially the drowsiness and dizziness. The chance of loss of balance and falling are increased.
  • Let your pharmacist or doctor know if you are pregnant or breastfeeding before taking this medication.
  • This medication may make you dizzy, drowsy, or blur your vision. Do not drive or do any activity that requires focus and attention until you are sure you can do them safely. Limit alcoholic beverages while taking tamsulosin.

Interactions & Side Effects

  • Tell your pharmacist or doctor all your medication allergies so they may determine if tamsulosin is safe for you to take.
  • Avoid dangerous drug interactions. Tell your pharmacist or doctor all the other medication you are taking, including over the counter supplements, even if you don’t take them very often.
  • Ask your doctor if this medication is safe to take with your current health conditions. Tell your doctor if you have any heartbeat problems, vision problems, low blood pressure, a history of fainting, prostate cancer, any bladder problems or liver or kidney disease.
  • While taking this medication, you may feel some fatigue, nausea, headache or blurred vision. If these or any other unwanted side effects persist, contact your doctor or pharmacist to talk about it with them.
  • Call your doctor right away if you feel severe dizziness, fainting or a very slow heartbeat.
  • Call emergency 911 if you have any symptoms of a heart attack such as chest and left arm pain, shortness of breath and sweating or if you have symptoms of a stroke such as weakness on one side of your body, slurred speech, sudden vision changes, and confusion.

If you have any questions about what you have heard, contact your pharmacist or doctor. This session does not include all the potential interactions or side effects that this medication may cause. Ask your pharmacist how your medication should be stored and how you should dispose of it when you are done taking it. Do not share your medication with anyone, ever. Remember, this is not meant to replace your counseling session with your pharmacist. In case of overdose, call your local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222.

Updated 7/20