Flomax: The Ultimate Guide Of Things You Should Know

With an estimated 23 million prescriptions, Flomax (tamsulosin) has become one of the top-most used drugs on the American market.

Back in 2008, the number of prescriptions reached over 13 million. But, by 2018, the rates almost doubled.

Known by the generic synonym tamsulosin hydrochloride, Flomax is a frequently used oral capsule capable of aiding patients with chronic prostate inflammation and enlarged prostate.

This is a detailed overview of what tamsulosin has to offer.

Including its risks, adverse effects, and practical tips that might come in handy.

Flomax – Covering the Basics

Flomax (tamsulosin hydrochloride) is a medication healthcare providers recommend to older male patients.

Generic Flomax is a widely used prescription medication with multiple uses.

The medication is capable of treating:

Chronic prostatitis

This is prostate inflammation that is not the result of a bacterial infection.

Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH)

Also known as benign prostatic hypertrophy, this is a typical enlargement of the prostate gland found in older male patients.

Kidney stone passage

When the stones move into the ureter, which would otherwise get stuck without the help of Flomax capsules.

Some urinary symptoms

Particularly urinary retention. This is a condition that makes it difficult for the patient to empty their bladder.

It can also curb the symptoms caused by advanced prostate cancer.

By managing the symptoms, users can revamp their quality of life with a tamsulosin dose.

Although tamsulosin hydrochloride could reduce blood pressure, it is not an approved medication for hypertension. 

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1) How It Works

Hydrochloride capsules are alpha adrenergic blocking agents that work by relaxing the smooth muscle of the prostate gland and bladder neck to get the desired result.

Thus, users with prostate troubles can curb their urinary symptoms, alleviate nighttime urination, and manage the urinary frequency and urgency. 

According to clinical trials, tamsulosin was efficient in the increasing success rate of voiding without a catheter after the patient had an acute urinary retention episode.

Experts analyzed 72 benign prostatic hyperplasia patients with acute retention of urine and divided them into a control and tamsulosin treatment group.

After the catheter was removed, 44% of patients had successful voiding. With a 61% effect rate in the tamsulosin group compared to 28% in the control group.

This is imperative for alleviating urinary symptoms.

2) Benefits

Flomax is designed to manage urine flow in BPH patients, also known as an enlarged prostate.

Due to its clinical benefits, possible long-term efficacy, and affordable costs, Flomax is the primary therapy for patients presenting with lower urinary tract symptoms. 

Since 1997, Flomax (tamsulosin) has demonstrated high efficacy for enlarged prostate. In users who’ve completed a 6-year therapy, 80.7% showed a consistent positive physiological response. 

About 80% of physicians use this particular agent as a first-line of treatment in aging benign prostatic hyperplasia patients.

Flomax 0.4 mg dose is only taken once a day and a dose readjustment isn’t necessary for individuals with kidney disease.

Data shows that tamsulosin therapy is a highly efficient adjunctive medical therapy after extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy.

It is even more impactful than lithotripsy alone for individuals with big renal stones. Plus, it is safe just as much as lithotripsy is. 

Besides, experts believe that tamsulosin adjunctive treatment can reduce analgesic drug use post lithotripsy. This could be highly beneficial for some patients.

Because the active unbound levels of the drug don’t get affected, there is no need to modify the dose in patients with BPH and renal impairment. 

When it comes to prostate cancer and symptoms management, the medications and therapy used may vary. BPH is not associated with prostate cancer, nor does it increase the likelihood of prostate carcinoma.

But, the symptoms and effects both of these conditions have on the human body are quite similar.

Sometimes surgery may be necessary to alleviate the prostate symptoms. 

3) Side effects

Despite Flomax capsules being considered a safe long-term treatment, the product can come with adverse reactions.

Clinical studies indicate that for tamsulosin-treated patients, the incidence of any adverse event was 36%, as opposed to 32% in placebo-treated patients. Dizziness was recorded in 3% of every group.

Other drug-related side effects include:

  • Runny nose
  • Headache
  • Abnormal ejaculation
  • Rash
  • Visual impairment
  • Chest pain
  • Cough
  • Drowsiness
  • Low libido
  • Painful erection (priapism)
  • Pain in the chest
  • Extreme weakness
  • Hay fever
  • Postural hypotension

It is not uncommon for people to develop an allergic reaction to a single Flomax dose.

This could be accompanied by dry mouth, respiratory symptoms, pruritus, angioedema, etc.

Abnormal ejaculation can also happen with Flomax capsules dosage. 

Plus, the drug has resulted in an elevated risk for symptomatic hypotension.

So, it is crucial to consult with a specialist before using the product. 

RELATED: Flomax Side Effects After Stopping.

4) Risks

Just like any drug out there, Flomax too comes with potential risks.

A dose could trigger orthostatic hypotension (a sudden plummet in blood pressure when a person changes their position from sitting to standing).

Blood pressure problems could develop during tamsulosin initiation, or if the doctor has suggested increasing the dose. 

Cataract surgeons do not recommend the drug to individuals who undergo glaucoma surgery or cataract surgery.

Mainly because the surgery accompanied with the drug can lead to intraoperative floppy iris syndrome.

Furthermore, any patient who needs low blood pressure should not use the Flomax drug. 

Note: Children or elderly patients, individuals with kidney, liver problems symptoms, cardiovascular disease, metabolic condition, or seizures who take a dose of this drug, are more susceptible to experiencing a broader range of adverse reactions to Flomax capsules.

5) Tips

The following tips can assist healthy volunteers and patients to make the most of this drug.

Given how widely used it is, it is imperative to talk about the practical ways in which tamsulosin could be used for prostate symptoms. 

Experts suggest you:

  • Consult with a physician if any adverse events start to emerge. 
  • Don’t take apart, chew, or crush the tamsulosin when using it for the prostate. 
  • Take a dose at the exact same time every day, 30 minutes post-meal. 
  • Adjust the dose to fit your schedule. So that after taking the drug, you can lie down to avoid severe dizziness. 
  • Avoid taking a dose when driving. The dizziness can make a person pass out. 
  • Ask the doctor about any other medications you’ve been taking or dizziness you’ve been experiencing. This can help you prevent drug interaction when treating the prostate. 

6) Interactions

Individuals who experience an allergic reaction to tamsulosin shouldn’t take a single dose of Flomax.

You should not take the drug alongside similar products, such as:

The drug can lead to severe interactions with potent CYP3A4 inhibitors and alfuzosin while creating moderate interactions with other alpha blockers, and CGMP specific PDE5 inhibitors.

Studies indicate that tamsulosin is mainly metabolized by the CYP3A4 and CYP2D6 inhibitor. And exposure to the drug is drastically elevated based on the genetic polymorphism of the latter inhibitor.

Interactions have also been found in patients who use beta-blockers, HIV medication, heart medication, NSAIDs, and more. Antibiotics like doxycycline and clarithromycin can also trigger a reaction.

Because of the wide list of possible interactions, it is crucial to consult with an expert before taking the drug. 

7) Alternatives

Other alpha-blockers can have a similar effect to that of Flomax.

Doxazosin is a budget-friendly alternative. People have also opted for non-branded tamsulosin, silodosin, and alfuzosin.

But, alpha-blockers are not the only drugs for prostate problems.

Depending on the type of issue the prostate is causing, whether it is with abnormal ejaculation, erectile dysfunction, or poor libido, then some patients have been taking Viagra or Cialis to curb the symptoms and manage the blood flow to the penis.

Others have opted for more natural alternatives like saw palmetto

For more serious health complications, doctors suggest combining the alpha-blockers with another medicine.

For instance, a product designed to manage the overactive bladder. This, however, can only be decided by a healthcare provider.


How long can you stay on Flomax?

The efficiency of a daily dose in users with lower urinary tract symptoms from BPH often maintains for a maximum of 6 years. But, it can vary.

What happens when you stop taking Flomax?

Stopping Flomax abruptly won’t curb the BPH symptoms. To stop taking the product talk with a doctor first.

How long does Flomax stay in your system?

It can take 2-3 days for the chemicals to leave the system. 

What happens when you mix Flomax and alcohol?

Ethanol may amplify the effects of Flomax and cause dizziness, and possibly make the user feel faint

What should I watch for while using this medicine?

This is a prescription medication and you should use it as such. Check the directions on the package for further details.

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

Talking about your medical history, current health state, and medications you are taking should be a top priority.


This product is only for male patients.

Despite its numerous beneficial properties, it can trigger side effects.

To prevent possible interference and make the most of its curative compounds, users should consult with their doctor. 

Next Up

flomax alternatives

Find out 6 Natural Alternatives To Flomax.


  1. Hua LX, Wu HF, Sui YG, Chen SG, Xu ZQ, Zhang W, Qian LX. [Tamsulosin in the treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia patients with acute urinary retention]. Zhonghua Nan Ke Xue. 2003. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/14628599/
  2. Narayan P, Tunuguntla HS. Long-term efficacy and safety of tamsulosin for benign prostatic hyperplasia. Rev Urol. 2005;7 Suppl 4(Suppl 4):S42-S48. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1477608/
  3. Gravina GL, Costa AM, Ronchi P, Galatioto GP, Angelucci A, Castellani D, Narcisi F, Vicentini C. Tamsulosin treatment increases clinical success rate of single extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy of renal stones. Urology. 2005. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15992885/
  4. Lowe FC. Summary of clinical experiences with tamsulosin for the treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia. Rev Urol. 2005;7 Suppl 4(Suppl 4):S13-S21. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1477611/
  5. Byeon JY, Lee YJ, Kim YH, Kim SH, Lee CM, Bae JW, Jang CG, Lee SY, Choi CI. Effects of diltiazem, a moderate inhibitor of CYP3A4, on the pharmacokinetics of tamsulosin in different CYP2D6 genotypes. Arch Pharm Res. 2018. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29728928/

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