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On-line Tamsulosin

Brand Name(s): Flomax

Generic Name Tamsulosin

What are tamsulosin capsules?

TAMSULOSIN (Flomax®) is used to treat enlargement of the prostate gland in men (benign prostatic hyperplasia or BPH). It is not for use in women. Tamsulosin works by relaxing muscles in the prostate and bladder neck at the site of the obstruction. This improves urine flow and reduces BPH symptoms. Generic tamsulosin capsules are not yet available.

What should my health care professional know before I take tamsulosin?

They need to know if you have any of the following conditions:

  • kidney disease
  • liver disease
  • low blood pressure
  • prostate cancer
  • an unusual or allergic reaction to tamsulosin, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives

How should I take this medicine?

Always take tamsulosin capsules by mouth after a meal, about 30 minutes after the same meal every day. Follow the directions on the prescription label. Swallow the capsules whole with a drink of water; do not crush, chew, or open capsules. Do not take your medicine more often than directed. Do not stop taking except on your prescriber's advice.

Contact your pediatrician or health care professional regarding the use of this medicine in children. Special care may be needed.

What if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, take only that dose. Do not take double or extra doses. If you stop taking tamsulosin for several days or more, restart treatment at one capsule a day, after consulting with your prescriber or health care professional.

What drug(s) may interact with tamsulosin?

Do not take tamsulosin if you are taking the following medications:

  • other alpha-blockers such as alfuzosin, doxazosin, phentolamine, phenoxybenzamine, prazosin, terazosin

Tamsulosin may also interact with the following medications:

  • cimetidine
  • medicines for high blood pressure
  • sildenafil (doses of sildenafil higher than 25 mg should be taken at least 4 hours apart from taking tamsulosin)
  • tadalafil
  • vardenafil
  • warfarin

Tell your prescriber or health care professional about all other medicines you are taking, including nonprescription medicines, nutritional supplements, or herbal products. Also tell your prescriber or health care professional if you are a frequent user of drinks with caffeine or alcohol, if you smoke, or if you use illegal drugs. These may affect the way your medicine works. Check with your prescriber or health care professional before stopping or starting any of your medicines.

What side effects may I notice from taking tamsulosin?

Side effects that you should report to your prescriber or health care professional as soon as possible:

Rare or uncommon:

  • difficulty breathing, shortness of breath
  • prolonged painful erection of the penis (priapism)

More common:

  • fainting spells
  • visual problems
  • weakness

Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your prescriber or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):

  • back pain
  • diarrhea
  • dizziness
  • drowsiness
  • sexual problems (ejaculation problems or decreased sex drive)
  • headache
  • insomnia
  • nausea
  • runny or stuffy nose

What should I watch for while taking tamsulosin?

You must see your physician regularly. While taking tamsulosin, you must have regular checkups. Follow your physician's advice about when to have these checkups.

You may feel drowsy or dizzy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that requires mental alertness until you know how tamsulosin affects you. To reduce the risk of dizzy or fainting spells, do not sit or stand up quickly. If you begin to feel dizzy, sit down until you feel better. Avoid alcoholic drinks; they can make you more drowsy, increase flushing, and cause rapid heartbeats. Take tamsulosin at bedtime to lessen the effects of drowsiness and dizziness, but be careful if you have to get up during the night. Drowsiness and dizziness are more likely to occur after the first dose, after an increase in dose, or during hot weather or exercise. These effects can decrease once your body adjusts to this medicine.

Although extremely rare in men taking tamsulosin, contact you health care provider immediately if you experience prolonged and painful erection of the penis which is unrelated to sexual activity (priapism). If not brought to immediate medical attention, priapism can lead to permanent erectile dysfunction (impotence).

If you are going to have surgery, tell your prescriber or health care professional that you are taking tamsulosin.

Where can I keep my medicine?

Keep out of the reach of children in a container that small children cannot open.

Store at room temperature below 20 degrees—25 °C (68 degrees—77 °F). Throw away any unused medicine after the expiration date.


(Note: The above information is not intended to replace the advice of your physician, pharmacist, or other healthcare professional. It is not meant to indicate that the use of the product is safe, appropriate, or effective for you.)

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