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Tamsulosin (Flomax): 10 Answers Inc. Side Effects, Kidney Stones, and Treating Women

Answers to the most common questions about tamsulosin

Tamsulosin, an alpha-blocker, is sold under the brand name Flomax. It is typically used to treat prostatic hyperplasia and prostatitis, but it is also used to aid in the passing of kidney stones and off-label treatment of UTIs in women. Tamsulosin is often an important part of combination therapy alongside other drugs such as dutasteride. It is taken orally.

The content on this page is provided for informational purposes only. If you have any questions or concerns about your treatment, you should talk to your doctor, pharmacist, or healthcare professional. This is particularly important if you are taking multiple medications or have any existing medical conditions.

  1. How does tamsulosin (Flomax) work?
  2. What are the side effects of tamsulosin (Flomax)?
  3. Can women take tamsulosin (Flomax)?
  4. Is tamsulosin (Flomax) effective for treating kidney stones?
  5. Are there any dangerous interactions with tamsulosin (Flomax)?
  6. What is the price of tamsulosin (Flomax)?
  7. How do you stop taking tamsulosin (Flomax) safely?
  8. What is the best time of day to take tamsulosin (Flomax)?
  9. What is the right tamsulosin (Flomax) dosage for me?
  10. Tamsulosin (Flomax) vs dutasteride: What’s the difference?

1. How does tamsulosin (Flomax) work?

Tamsulosin belongs to a class of drugs known as alpha-blockers, also referred to as Alpha-adrenoreceptor antagonists. As with other alpha-blockers used to treat prostate problems, Tamsulosin works by keeping the hormone norepinephrine from tightening the walls in smaller arteries and veins, thus relaxing muscles around the bladder and prostate to increase urine output. Through this same mechanism, tamsulosin is sometimes used to treat kidney stones by easing their passing through the urinary tract.

2. What are the side effects of tamsulosin (Flomax)?

Tamsulosin can potentially cause side effects ranging from mild to severe. The list below includes some of the most common side effects but is not a complete list. Mild side effects may go away after a few days or weeks of consistent medication-taking, but if they persist or worsen, you should speak with your doctor.

Common side effects:

Severe side effects:

  • Ejaculatory problems
  • Priapism (persistent painful erections)
  • Flu-like symptoms
  • Blurry vision
  • Dangerously low blood pressure

In some rare cases, patients can experience allergic reactions. Seek emergency medical care if you experience any of the following symptoms after taking tamsulosin.

  • Skin rash
  • Wheezing
  • Tightness in the throat or chest
  • Difficulty talking or breathing
  • Swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or throat

3. Can women take tamsulosin (Flomax)?

Tamsulosin is sometimes used for off-label treatment of urinary tract infections in women. While this is not yet an officially approved usage, several studies have suggested that this treatment is both effective and safe. However, women should not take tamsulosin unless specifically instructed to do so by their doctor.

4. Is tamsulosin (Flomax) effective for treating kidney stones?

Tamsulosin has been shown in studies to aid the passage of kidney stones. However, studies have indicated that it’s most effective in the treatment of larger kidney stones (11-20mm) compared to small kidney stones, which may pass on their own.

5. Are there any dangerous interactions with tamsulosin (Flomax)?

There are several interactions to be mindful of when taking tamsulosin. Perhaps the most important is other alpha-blockers, if you take these together, it’s more likely that your blood pressure could become dangerously low. There are several other interactions such as azole antifungals, HIV protease inhibitors, and more that may also affect how the tamsulosin works in your body. To avoid any negative side effects, speak with your doctor about any medications you’re currently taking before beginning treatment.

6. What is the price of tamsulosin (Flomax)?

The price of tamsulosin will vary greatly depending on location and insurance coverage. However, patients who are paying out-of-pocket can expect to pay around $14 for a 3-month supply of the drug. Alternatively, patients who wish to purchase the brand-name of the drug, Flomax, will be paying around $900 for a 3-month supply.

7. How do you stop taking tamsulosin (Flomax) safely?

It is not recommended to stop taking tamsulosin without first consulting with your doctor about possible effects. However, tamsulosin does not usually cause withdrawal symptoms and is not addictive. Oftentimes, the larger risk is restarting tamsulosin treatment, especially if you’re taking a dosage larger than the starting dose. If for any reason you’ve temporarily discontinued tamsulosin treatment, you must speak with your doctor first before starting again.

8. What is the best time of day to take tamsulosin (Flomax)?

Generally, the best time to take tamsulosin is 30 mins after the same meal each day. This helps your body receive the maximum benefits from the medication. When taking your first dose, it’s best to take it shortly before bed because you may experience dizziness or lightheadedness.

9. What is the right tamsulosin (Flomax) dosage for me?

The proper dosage of tamsulosin will vary between patients and is based on several factors. You should always follow your doctor’s instructions or the directions on the label. The standard dosage is one 0.4mg capsule taken once daily. In some cases, the dosage may be increased after 2 to 4 weeks if patients do not respond to 0.4mg daily dosage if treatment is not initially effective. Source: Accessdata: Tamsulosin

10. Tamsulosin (Flomax) vs dutasteride: What’s the difference?

Tamsulosin and dutasteride are often used to treat the same conditions, and often used together in treatment. This can lead to confusion about what sets them apart and how they work together. As mentioned previously, tamsulosin is an alpha-blocker. This means that when treating prostate problems it works by relaxing muscles, in turn providing symptom relief. In contrast, dutasteride works by reducing the actual size of the enlarged prostate. This means that it treats the cause more than the symptoms. For this reason, Dutasteride and tamsulosin used in combination is an incredibly effective treatment for problems caused by an enlarged prostate.

The content on this page is provided for informational purposes only. If you have any questions or concerns about your treatment, you should talk to your doctor, pharmacist, or healthcare professional. This is particularly important if you are taking multiple medications or have any existing medical conditions.


The content on this page is provided for informational purposes only. If you have any questions or concerns about your treatment, you should talk to your doctor, pharmacist, or healthcare professional. This is particularly important if you are taking multiple medications or have any existing medical conditions.

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