tamsulosin (generic name)

It is used to treat enlargement of the prostate gland in men, a condition called benign prostatic hyperplasia or BPH
(tam SOO loe sin)
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What is this medicine?

TAMSULOSIN (tam SOO loe sin) is used to treat enlargement of the prostate gland in men, a condition called benign prostatic hyperplasia or BPH. It is not for use in women. It works by relaxing muscles in the prostate and bladder neck. This improves urine flow and reduces BPH symptoms.

What should I tell my health care provider before I take this medicine?

They need to know if you have any of the following conditions:
  • advanced kidney disease
  • advanced liver disease
  • low blood pressure
  • prostate cancer
  • an unusual or allergic reaction to tamsulosin, sulfa drugs, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives
  • pregnant or trying to get pregnant
  • breast-feeding

How should I use this medicine?

Take this medicine by mouth about 30 minutes after the same meal every day. Follow the directions on the prescription label. Swallow the capsules whole with a glass of water. Do not crush, chew, or open capsules. Do not take your medicine more often than directed. Do not stop taking your medicine unless your doctor tells you to.

Talk to your pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine in children. Special care may be needed.

What if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, take only that dose. Do not take double or extra doses. If you stop taking your medicine for several days or more, ask your doctor or health care professional what dose you should start back on.

What may interact with this medicine?

  • cimetidine
  • fluoxetine
  • ketoconazole
  • medicines for erectile disfunction like sildenafil, tadalafil, vardenafil
  • medicines for high blood pressure
  • other alpha-blockers like alfuzosin, doxazosin, phentolamine, phenoxybenzamine, prazosin, terazosin
  • warfarin

What should I watch for while using this medicine?

Visit your doctor or health care professional for regular check ups. You will need lab work done before you start this medicine and regularly while you are taking it. Check your blood pressure as directed. Ask your health care professional what your blood pressure should be, and when you should contact him or her.

This medicine may make you feel dizzy or lightheaded. This is more likely to happen after the first dose, after an increase in dose, or during hot weather or exercise. Drinking alcohol and taking some medicines can make this worse. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that needs mental alertness until you know how this medicine affects you. Do not sit or stand up quickly. If you begin to feel dizzy, sit down until you feel better. These effects can decrease once your body adjusts to the medicine.

Although extremely rare in men taking this medicine, contact you doctor immediately if you have a prolonged and painful erection of the penis which is unrelated to sexual activity. If you do not get medical attention, this condition can lead to permanent erectile dysfunction.

If you are thinking of having cataract surgery, tell your eye surgeon that you have taken this medicine.

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Last Updated: February 23, 2009
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