Tamsulosin

Generic Name: tamsulosin (oral) (tam soo LO sin)Brand Names: Flomax

What is tamsulosin?

Tamsulosin is in a group of drugs called alpha-adrenergic (AL-fa ad-ren-ER-jik) blockers. Tamsulosin relaxes your veins and arteries so that blood can more easily pass through them. It also relaxes the muscles in the prostate and bladder neck, making it easier to urinate.

Tamsulosin is used to improve urination in men with benign prostatic hyperplasia (enlarged prostate).

Tamsulosin may also be used for other purposes not listed in this medication guide.

What is the most important information I should know about tamsulosin?

Tamsulosin can cause side effects that may impair your thinking or reactions. Be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to be awake and alert. You may feel dizzy when getting up from a sitting or lying position. Avoid standing up too quickly to keep from falling. Avoid drinking alcohol. It may increase dizziness caused by tamsulosin.

Before taking tamsulosin, tell your doctor if you are allergic to sulfa drugs. You may also be allergic to tamsulosin.

Tamsulosin can affect the pupils of your eyes during cataract surgery. If you have cataract surgery during your treatment with tamsulosin, tell the surgeon ahead of time that you are using this medication. Do not stop using tamsulosin before surgery unless your surgeon tells you to.

Stop using tamsulosin and call your doctor at once if you feel like you might pass out, or if you have an erection of your penis that is painful or lasts longer than 4 hours.

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking tamsulosin?

Do not use this medication if you are allergic to tamsulosin, or if you are also taking any other alpha adrenergic blockers such as alfusozin (Uroxatral), doxazosin (Cardura), prazosin (Minipress), or Terazosin (Hytrin).

Before taking tamsulosin, tell your doctor if you are allergic to any drugs, or if you have prostate cancer.

If you will be having cataract surgery, tell the surgeon that you are taking tamsulosin.

FDA pregnancy category B. Tamsulosin is not expected to be harmful to an unborn baby. Tamsulosin is not for use in children.

How should I take tamsulosin?

Take tamsulosin exactly as your doctor has prescribed it for you. Do not use more of the medication than recommended. Do not take tamsulosin for longer than your doctor has prescribed. Follow the directions on your prescription label.

Your doctor may occasionally change your dose to make sure you get the best results from this medication.

Take each dose with a full glass of water. Swallow the tamsulosin capsule whole. Do not crush, chew, or open the capsule. Tamsulosin is usually taken once a day, approximately 30 minutes after a meal. Try to take this medication at the same time each day. If you stop taking tamsulosin for several days in a row, call your doctor before starting the medication again. You may need to restart at a different dose.

To be sure this medication is helping your condition, your doctor will need to check you on a regular basis. Do not miss any scheduled appointments.

Store this medication at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

See also: Tamsulosin dosage in more detail

What happens if I miss a dose?

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take the medicine at the next regularly scheduled time. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

If you miss your doses for several days in a row, contact your doctor before restarting the medication. You may need a lower dose.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention if you think you have used too much of this medicine.

Overdose symptoms may include a fast heartbeat, cold or clammy skin, severe headache, feeling light-headed, or fainting.

What should I avoid while taking tamsulosin?

Tamsulosin can cause side effects that may impair your thinking or reactions. Be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to be awake and alert.

Avoid getting up too fast from a sitting or lying position, or you may feel dizzy. Get up slowly and steady yourself to prevent a fall.

Avoid drinking alcohol. It may increase dizziness caused by tamsulosin.

Tamsulosin side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Stop using tamsulosin and call your doctor at once if you have any of these serious side effects:

  • penis erection that is painful or lasts 4 hours or longer;
  • severe dizziness; or

  • fainting.

Less serious side effects may include:

  • mild dizziness or drowsiness;

  • sleep problems (insomnia);

  • abnormal ejaculation, decreased sex drive; or

  • runny or stuffy nose, sore throat.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Tell your doctor about any unusual or bothersome side effect. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Tamsulosin Dosing Information

Usual Adult Dose for Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia:

0.4 mg orally once daily one-half hour following the same meal each day

What other drugs will affect tamsulosin?

Before taking tamsulosin, tell your doctor if you use any of the following drugs:

  • cimetidine (Tagamet);

  • cyclosporine (Gengraf, Neoral, Sandimmune);

  • metronidazole (Flagyl, Protostat);

  • warfarin (Coumadin);

  • antibiotics such as azithromycin (Zithromax), ciprofloxacin (Cipro), clarithromycin (Biaxin), erythromycin (E-Mycin, E.E.S., Ery-Tab, Erythrocin), itraconazole (Sporanox), or ketoconazole (Nizoral);

  • antidepressants such as citalopram (Celexa), escitalopram (Lexapro), fluoxetine (Prozac, Sarafem), fluvoxamine (Luvox), paroxetine (Paxil), or sertraline (Zoloft);

  • heart or blood pressure medication such as diltiazem (Cardizem, Dilacor, Tiazac) or verapamil (Calan, Covera, Isoptin, Verelan); or

  • HIV /AIDS medicine such as indinavir (Crixivan), nelfinavir (Viracept), ritonavir (Norvir), or saquinavir (Invirase, Fortovase).

This list is not complete and there may be other drugs that can interact with tamsulosin. Tell your doctor about all the prescription and over-the-counter medications you use. This includes vitamins, minerals, herbal products, and drugs prescribed by other doctors. Do not start using a new medication without telling your doctor.

Where can I get more information?

  • Your pharmacist can provide more information about tamsulosin.
  • Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.
  • Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.
Copyright 1996-2006 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 6.02. Revision Date: 4/12/2009 4:42:44 PM.
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