Tamsulosin is a drug which belongs to a family of drugs called alpha-adrenergic blockers. It is sold under the trade names Flomax, Urimax (made by Cipla) among several other brand names which are sold in various countries.
Tamsulosin medication helps in relaxing the muscles in the neck of prostate and bladder, thereby making urination easier. Tamsulosin is prescribed primarily for men with benign prostatic hyperplasia (enlarge prostate) which makes it harder for them to urinate. This medication thus improves urination in men.
Tamsulosin may also be prescribed for conditions not listed above.
Important Information about Tamsulosin
Tamsulosin (Flomax, Urimax) is not recommended for people who are allergic to it. Don’t take this medication if you are already taking similar medications like doxazosin, prazosin, terazosin, silodosin, or alfuzosin. You may experience fainting or giddiness in the initial days of starting Tamsulosin or when you take it after a long time. This may impact some of your activities like driving which requires much attention and focus so be careful. Don’t stand upright for a long period, exert yourself more during an exercise, or go outside in hot weather. Don’t get up suddenly from a sitting or lying position otherwise you may feel giddy.
If you cease taking Tamsulosin for some reasons, consult your doctor before you restart taking this medication as you may need a dose change.
Tamsulosin is known to affect pupils during cataract surgery. Inform your eye surgeon well in advance that you are taking this medication. Don’t stop without your surgeon’s advice.
Certain drugs may interact with Tamsulosin. Let your doctor know about all medications which you use currently.
Tamsulosin must not be taken by females.
Before using Tamsulosin
Before taking Tamsulosin medication (Flomax, Urimax), discuss about all the points mentioned above with your doctor.
Your dosage may differ from the normal dosage of Tamsulosin if you have a history of prostate cancer and you may also be required to undergo special medical tests before taking this medication.
How should I take Tamsulosin?
Take Tamsulosin (Flomax, Urimax) strictly as advised by your doctor. Don’t alter the course of the medication in any way, either by amount or by duration. Your doctor may advise you to change the dose sometimes to ensure proper treatment. All medications come with a patient leaflet. Refer it for more details if you have any doubts, or call your doctor or pharmacist.
Tamsulosin is usually taken once per day after about 30 minutes of having a meal. Ensure that you take this medication at the same time every day. Avoid crushing, chewing, or opening a Tamsulosin capsule and swallow it whole. Tamsulosin lowers blood pressure and may lead to dizziness or fainting, especially in the initial period after starting it, or when you restart the medication after a long time. Notify your doctor if you experience severe dizziness, or feel like you may faint.
When you first wake up after taking Tamsulosin, you may feel very dizzy so take care while standing up from sitting or lying position. You will be required to get your blood pressure and prostate checked at regular intervals. Don’t forget to visit your doctor regularly.
If you cease taking Tamsulosin for some reason, inform your doctor before starting it again as you may need a different dose than before.
Some factors can lead to low blood pressure while taking Tamsulosin like vomiting, diarrhea, heavy sweating, heart disease, low salt diet, heart disease, or taking diuretics (water pills). Let your doctor know if you have an extended period of illness that causes diarrhea or vomiting.
Always store Tamsulosin in a cool and dry place.
What if I miss a dose?
If you miss a Tamsulosin dose, take it as soon as you remember it. However, skip the missed dose if the time to take the next dose is near. Don’t take extra medication or two doses near to each other to compensate for the missed dose.
If you miss taking Tamsulosin for several days in a row, consult your doctor before you start taking it again as you may require a dose adjustment.
What if I overdose?
Get emergency medical attention or call the Doctor immediately if you take an overdose of Tamsulosin and experience serious symptoms which may include severe dizziness and fainting.
What should I avoid while taking Tamsulosin?
Your thinking capability and reflexes may be impacted after taking Tamsulosin (Flomax, Urimax). Be sure not to do an activity that requires greater mental alertness and reflexes like driving. Avoid alcohol as it can increase the likelihood of some side effects of Tamsulosin.
Don’t stand for a long time or exert more during an exercise otherwise you may feel dizzy. Also, while getting up from a sitting and lying position do it slowly and don’t get up suddenly or you may feel dizzy and might fall as well.
Tamsulosin Side Effects
Some serious side effects of Tamsulosin (Flomax, Urimax) are chest pain, feeling like you may faint, fever, chills, body aches, flu symptoms, painful and prolonged penis erection that can last for 4 hours or longer. Contact your doctor immediately in case of these conditions.
You may also experience some less serious side effects while taking Tamsulosin such as mild dizziness, headache, overall weakness, drowsiness, nausea, diarrhea, back pain, dental problems, blurred vision, sleep problems (insomnia), lower libido, abnormal ejaculation, runny nose, sore throat, or cough.
These are not all the side effects which you may notice due to Tamsulosin intake. There may be others as well.
Your dosage will be decided by your doctor. Stick to that under any circumstances, unless or otherwise advised by your doctor himself/herself.
Interaction with other drugs
Certain drugs can interact with Tamsulosin (Flomax, Urimax) such as ticlopidine; warfarin; pioglitazone; ropinirole; methimazole; conivaptan; imatinib; cimetidine; isoniazid; some antibiotic drugs such as clarithromycin, dalfopristin/quinupristin, telithromycin, erythromycin, or others; antidepressant medications such as citalopram, desipramine, clomipramine, or others; antifungals such as clotrimazole, itraconazole, ketoconazole, or others; anti-malaria drugs such as chloroquine, pyrimethamine, or others; erectile dysfunction medicine such as sildenafil, tadalafil or others; heart or blood pressure medication such as diltiazem, nicardipine, verapamil, or others.
The list of drugs above which can interact with Tamsulosin is not complete and there may be other drugs which can interact with it. Always consult your doctor before starting a new medication and before stopping or altering the course of any existing ones.