Tamsulosin

Tamsulosin is a treatment for enlarged prostate. Does not shrink the prostate. Works by relaxing bladder and prostate muscles to allow urine to flow more easily.

Playlist
Now Playing
Pharmacist Anyssa S. Garza, PharmD overviews the uses and common side effects of Tamsulosin
Alpha-blockers
Next Video
Alpha-blockers
Tamsulosin
Tamsulosin
Pharmacist Anyssa S. Garza, PharmD overviews the uses and common side effects of Tamsulosin
Alpha-blockers
Alpha-blockers
Pharmacist Chris Adlhaka, PharmD summarizes the uses, common side effects, and warnings for the Alpha-blockers class of medications

Tamsulosin Overview

Reviewed: May 9, 2013
Updated: 

Tamsulosin is a prescription medication used to treat the symptoms of enlarged prostate, known medically as benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). Tamsulosin belongs to a group of drugs called alpha blockers. Unlike other BPH medicines, tamsulosin does not shrink the prostate. It works by relaxing the muscles in the bladder and prostate so urine can flow easily.

This medication comes as a capsule that is taken by mouth once a day. It should be taken 30 minutes after the same meal each day. Swallow tamsulosin capsules whole. Do not crush, chew, or open tamsulosin capsules.

Common side effects of tamsulosin include runny nose, dizziness, and decreased semen amounts.

Patient Ratings for Tamsulosin

How was your experience with Tamsulosin?

First, a little about yourself

Tell us about yourself in a few words?

What tips would you provide a friend before taking Tamsulosin?

What are you taking Tamsulosin for?

Choose one
  • Other
  • Prostatic Hyperplasia

How long have you been taking it?

Choose one
  • Less than a week
  • A couple weeks
  • A month or so
  • A few months
  • A year or so
  • Two years or more

How well did Tamsulosin work for you?

Did you experience many side effects while taking this drug?

How likely would you be to recommend Tamsulosin to a friend?

Pill Images

{{ slide.name }}
pill-image {{ slide.name }}
Color: {{ slide.color }} Shape: {{ slide.shape }} Size: {{ slide.size }} Score: {{ slide.score }} Imprint: {{ slide.imprint }}
<<
Prev
{{ slide.number }} of {{ slide.total }}
>>
Next

Tamsulosin Cautionary Labels

precautionsprecautionsprecautions

Uses of Tamsulosin

Tamsulosin is a prescription medication used to treat the symptoms of enlarged prostate, known medically as benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH).

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

Tamsulosin Brand Names

Tamsulosin may be found in some form under the following brand names:

Tamsulosin Drug Class

Tamsulosin is part of the drug class:

Side Effects of Tamsulosin

Serious side effects can occur. See "Drug Precautions" section.

Common side effects of tamsulosin may include:

  • headache
  • dizziness
  • runny nose
  • abnormal ejaculation
  • general weakness
  • back pain
  • diarrhea
  • upper respiratory infection
  • chest pain
  • cough
  • sleepiness
  • nausea
  • insomni
  • decreased libido
  • tooth disorder
  • blurred vision

These are not all the possible side effects with tamsulosin. Tell your doctor if you have any side effect that bothers you or that does not go away.

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. 

Tamsulosin Interactions

Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. Especially tell your doctor if you are taking:

This is not a complete list of tamsulosin drug interactions. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

 

 

Tamsulosin Precautions

Serious side effects have occurred including:

  • Decreased blood pressure when changing positions. Tamsulosin capsules may cause a sudden drop in blood pressure upon standing, especially after the first dose or when changing doses. 
    Symptoms may include:
    • fainting
    • dizziness
    • lightheadedness

Change positions slowly from lying down to sitting up or from a sitting to a standing position until you learn how you react to tamsulosin capsules. If you begin to feel dizzy, sit or lie down until you feel better. If the symptoms are severe or do not improve, call your doctor.

  • Allergic reactions. Make your doctor aware of any allergic reactions you may experience while taking tamsulosin.
    Allergic reactions may include:
    • rash
    • itching
    • hives
  • Rare and more serious allergic reactions may also occur. Get medical help right away if you have any of the following  reactions:
    • swelling of face, tongue, or throat
    • difficulty breathing
    • blistering of the skin
  • A painful erection that will not go away. Tamsulosin capsules can cause a painful erection (priapism), which cannot be relieved by having sex. If this happens, get medical help right away. If priapism is not treated, you may not be able to get an erection in the future.
  • Eye problems during cataract surgery. During cataract surgery, a condition called intraoperative floppy iris syndrome (IFIS) can happen if you take or have taken tamsulosin capsules. If you need to have cataract surgery, be sure to tell your surgeon if you take or have taken tamsulosin capsules.
  • Tamsulosin may make you dizzy or drowsy. Do not drive a car or operate machinery until you know how this medicine affects you.

Tamsulosin Food Interactions

Grapefruit and grapefruit juice may interact with tamsulosin and lead to potentially dangerous effects. Discuss the use of grapefruit products with your doctor.

 

Inform MD

Before taking tamsulosin, tell your doctor about all your medical conditions including: 

  • any kidney or liver problems.
  • any history of low blood pressure.
  • any allergies to sulfa or any other medicines.
  • if you are planning to have cataract surgery.

Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take including any prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. Especially tell your doctor if you take other alpha blocker medicines, anticoagulants ("blood thinners") such as warfarin, cimetidine, or medicines for erectile dysfunction (ED).

Although tamsulosin is most often prescribed for men, it may be prescribed under certain circumstances for women. Tamsulosin should not be taken if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. Tell your doctor if you become pregnant while using tamsulosin.

Tamsulosin and Pregnancy

Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.

The FDA categorizes medications based on safety for use during pregnancy. Five categories - A, B, C, D, and X, are used to classify the possible risks to an unborn baby when a medication is taken during pregnancy.

This medication falls into category B. It is not known if tamsulosin will harm your unborn baby. This medication should not be taken during pregnancy. Tell your doctor if you become pregnant while taking tamsulosin.

Tamsulosin and Lactation

Tell your doctor if you are breastfeeding or planning to breastfeed. It is not known if tamsulosin will harm your nursing baby.

Tamsulosin Usage

  • Take tamsulosin exactly as prescribed by your doctor.
  • Do not crush, chew, or open tamsulosin capsules.
  • Take tamsulosin one time each day, about 30 minutes after the same meal each day. For example, you may take tamsulosin 30 minutes after dinner each day.
  • If you miss a dose of tamsulosin, take it as soon as you remember. If you miss your dose for the whole day, continue with your next dose on your regular schedule. Do not take two doses at the same time.
  • If you stop or forget to take tamsulosin for several days, talk with your doctor before starting again.
  • If you take more tamsulosin capsules than prescribed, call your doctor right away.

Tamsulosin Dosage

Take tamsulosin exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully.

For the treatment of the signs and symptoms of BPH (benign prostatic hyperplasia) the recommended dose of tamsulosin is 0.4 mg once a day. The dose may be increased to 0.8 mg once a day (2 capsules). Your doctor will determine the best dose for you.

Tamsulosin Overdose

If you take too much this medication, call your healthcare provider or local Poison Control Center, or seek emergency medical attention right away.

If this medication is administered by a healthcare provider in a medical setting, it is unlikely that an overdose will occur. However, if overdose is suspected, seek emergency medical attention.

Other Requirements

  • Store tamsulosin at room temperature [77°F (25°C)]. Short-term exposure to higher or lower temperatures [from 59°F (15°C) to 86°F (30°C)] is acceptable. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions about storing your capsules.
  • Keep tamsulosin capsules and all medicines out of the reach of children.