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Some commonly used brand names are:

In the U.S.—

  • Flomax


  • Benign prostatic hypertrophy therapy agent


Tamsulosin (tam-SOO-loh-sin) is used to treat the signs and symptoms of benign enlargement of the prostate (benign prostatic hyperplasia or BPH). Benign enlargement of the prostate is a problem that can occur in men as they get older. The prostate gland is located below the bladder. As the prostate gland enlarges, certain muscles in the gland may become tight and get in the way of the tube that drains urine from the bladder. This can cause problems in urinating, such as a need to urinate often, a weak stream when urinating, or a feeling of not being able to empty the bladder completely.

Tamsulosin helps relax the muscles in the prostate and the opening of the bladder. This may help increase the flow of urine and/or decrease the symptoms. However, tamsulosin will not shrink the prostate. The prostate may continue to get larger. This may cause the symptoms to become worse over time. Therefore, even though tamsulosin may lessen the problems caused by enlarged prostate now, surgery still may be needed in the future.

This medicine is available only with your doctor"s prescription, in the following dosage form:

  • Oral
  • Capsules (U.S.)

Before Using This Medicine

In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For tamsulosin, the following should be considered:

Allergies—Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to tamsulosin. Also tell your health care professional if you are allergic to any other substances, such as foods, preservatives, or dyes.

Other medicines—Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. When you are taking tamsulosin, it is especially important that your health care professional know if you are taking any of the following:

  • Doxazosin (e.g., Cardura) or
  • Phentolamine or
  • Prazosin (e.g., Minipress) or
  • Terazosin (e.g., Hytrin)—Effects of these medicines or tamsulosin may be increased
  • Warfarin (e.g., Coumadin)—These medicines should be used together with caution

Proper Use of This Medicine

To help you remember to take your medicine, try to get into the habit of taking it at the same time each day. Take it approximately 30 minutes after the same meal each day.

Swallow the capsules whole. Do not crush, chew, or open them, unless otherwise directed by your doctor.

Dosing—The dose of tamsulosin will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor"s orders or the directions on the label . The following information includes only the average doses of tamsulosin. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.

  • For oral dosage form (capsules):
    • For benign enlargement of the prostate:
      • Adults—At first, 0.4 milligram (mg) once a day, about thirty minutes after the same meal each day. Your doctor may increase the dose if necessary.

Missed dose—If you miss a dose of this medicine, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not double doses.

Storage—To store this medicine:

  • Keep out of the reach of children.
  • Store away from heat and direct light.
  • Do not store in the bathroom, near the kitchen sink, or in other damp places. Heat or moisture may cause the medicine to break down.
  • Do not keep outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed. Be sure that any discarded medicine is out of the reach of children.

Precautions While Using This Medicine

It is important that your doctor check your progress at regular visits to make sure that this medicine is working properly.

Dizziness, lightheadedness, or fainting may occur after you take this medicine, especially when you get up from a lying or sitting position. Getting up slowly may help lessen this problem. If you feel dizzy, lie down so that you do not faint. Then sit for a few moments before standing to prevent the dizziness from returning.

Because tamsulosin may cause some people to become dizzy, make sure you know how you react to this medicine before you drive, use machines, or do anything else that could be dangerous if you are dizzy.

Side Effects of This Medicine

Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.

The following side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. However, check with your doctor if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome:

More common

Abnormal ejaculation; back pain; diarrhea; dizziness; headache; stuffy or runny nose; unusual weakness

Less common

Chest pain; decreased sexual drive or performance; difficulty in sleeping; fainting or lightheadedness, especially when getting up from a lying or sitting position; drowsiness; nausea

Other side effects not listed above may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your doctor.

Developed: 03/02/1998

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Typical mistypes for Tamsulosin
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