|Type of medicine||Alpha-blocker|
|Used for||Enlargement of the prostate gland in men|
|Also called||Cositam®, Contiflo®, Diffundox®, Faramsil®, Flomax® Relief, Flomaxtra®, Galebon®, Losinate®, Maxtron®, Pamsvax®, Petyme®, Pinexel®, Prosurin®, Stronazon®, Tabphyn®,Tamurex®
Also Combodart® (this contains tamsulosin in combination with dutasteride)
|Available as||Prolonged-release tablets and capsules|
The prostate gland commonly becomes larger in older men. Prostate gland enlargement is also called benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). It can cause problems with passing urine, such as having to wait before your urine starts to flow, taking longer at the toilet, dribbling, and a feeling that your bladder is not quite empty.
Tamsulosin works by relaxing the muscles around your bladder and prostate so that you can pass urine more easily. It is available on prescription, or you can buy it at pharmacies without a prescription.
Sometimes, more than one type of medicine is needed to control the symptoms of prostate enlargement. Tamsulosin is available in combination with another medicine for prostate enlargement, called dutasteride.
Before taking tamsulosin
Some medicines are not suitable for people with certain conditions, and sometimes a medicine may only be used if extra care is taken. For these reasons, before you start taking tamsulosin it is important that your doctor or pharmacist knows:
- If you have liver or kidney problems.
- If you ever feel dizzy or faint when you stand up, or if you have ever fainted after passing urine.
- If you are are due to have cataract eye surgery.
- If you have ever had an allergic reaction to this or to any other medicine.
- If you are taking any other medicines, including those available to buy without a prescription, herbal and complementary medicines.
How to take tamsulosin
- Before you start this treatment, read the manufacturer's printed information leaflet from inside your pack. The leaflet will give you more information about the specific brand of tamsulosin you have been given, and a full list of possible side-effects from taking it. Take tamsulosin exactly as your doctor or pharmacist has told you.
- Take one tablet or capsule each day. Try to take your doses at the same time of day, as this will help you to remember to take them. Swallow each dose with a drink of water - do not crush, break, or chew the tablets or the capsules.
- Your first dose of tamsulosin may make you feel dizzy of faint. If you are affected in this way (or if you start sweating), lie down and do not get up again until these symptoms have gone.
- You can take tamsulosin tablets before or after your meals.
- If you forget to take a dose, do not worry, just take the next dose when it is due and carry on as before. Do not take two doses together to make up for a forgotten dose.
Getting the most from your treatment
- Tamsulosin can cause dizziness, particularly when you first start taking it. Make sure your reactions are normal before you drive or do things which would be dangerous if you were not fully alert.
- You are advised not to drink alcohol while you are on tamsulosin. Alcohol will increase the side-effects of tamsulosin, such as feeling faint and dizzy.
- Keep your regular appointments with your doctor so your progress can be monitored.
- If you are a smoker, stopping smoking may significantly improve your symptoms. This is because nicotine irritates the bladder. Ask your doctor for advice on quitting.
- If you are having an operation or any medical treatment, tell the person carrying out the treatment that you are taking tamsulosin. This is because some men who have had cataract surgery while they are on tamsulosin have developed an eye problem known as 'floppy iris syndrome', so your doctor may advise you to stop taking tamsulosin for a short while. Also, if you have an anaesthetic while you are on tamsulosin, your blood pressure may drop suddenly.
Can tamsulosin cause problems?
Along with their useful effects, most medicines can cause unwanted side-effects although not everyone experiences them. These usually improve as your body adjusts to the new medicine, but speak with your doctor or pharmacist if any of the following side-effects continue or become troublesome.
|Common tamsulosin side-effects - these affect less than 1 in 10 people who take this medicine||What can I do if I experience this?|
|Feeling tired, dizzy, faint, or weak, blurred vision||If any of these happen, do not drive or use tools or machines. Do not drink alcohol|
|Feeling light-headed when getting up from a lying or sitting position||Getting up more slowly may help. If you begin to feel dizzy, lie down so that you do not faint, then sit for a few moments to prevent the dizziness returning|
|Constipation or diarrhoea, feeling sick||Eat a well-balanced diet and avoid spicy foods. Drink plenty of water|
|Headache||Ask your pharmacist to recommend a suitable painkiller|
|Palpitations, dry mouth, rash, ejaculation problems||If any of these become troublesome, speak with your doctor|
If you experience any other symptoms which you think may be due to this medicine, discuss them with your doctor or pharmacist.
How to store tamsulosin
- Keep all medicines out of the reach and sight of children.
- Store in a cool, dry place, away from direct heat and light.
Important information about all medicines
Further reading & references
- British National Formulary; 63rd Edition (Mar 2012) British Medical Association and Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain, London
- Manufacturer's PIL, Flomax® Relief MR; Manufacturer's PIL, Flomax® Relief MR, Boehringer Ingelheim Limited Consumer Healthcare, The electronic Medicines Compendium. Dated March 2012.
|Original Author: Helen Allen||Current Version: Helen Allen||Peer Reviewer: Dr Helen Huins|
|Last Checked: 18/05/2012||Document ID: 7226 Version: 7||© EMIS|
Disclaimer: This article is for information only and should not be used for the diagnosis or treatment of medical conditions. EMIS has used all reasonable care in compiling the information but make no warranty as to its accuracy. Consult a doctor or other health care professional for diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions. For details see our conditions.