Flomax For Women- The Insight And Side Effects

While we often think of Flomax as the go-to for men dealing with the challenges of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), it turns out this medication extends its hand to women too. Flomax is not just for guys; it can also be a game-changer for women facing bladder blockages. 

Now, we’ve all heard about BPH affecting men as they age, but did you know that nearly half of men between 51 and 60 grapple with it, and the numbers skyrocket to a whopping 90 percent for those over 80? It occurs when the prostate expands to twice or even three times its regular size. The growing prostate gland gradually presses against the urethra, restricting urinary flow and resulting in urinary problems. 

While Flomax has long been the mainstay of treatment for men with BPH and lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS), little research has investigated the use of alpha-blockers in women. This article will discuss the effectiveness of using Flomax for women.

What Is Flomax Used For?

Flomax is a medication commonly known for its primary use in relieving urinary symptoms associated with Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH). Beyond its main purpose, it also finds application in assisting with the clearance or passage of kidney stones.

The mechanism of Flomax involves the paralysis of muscles around the urethra and the bladder sphincter. These muscles play a crucial role in controlling the release of urine until a suitable time to use the toilet.

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Despite its effectiveness in easing urination, Flomax does not have any impact on prostate health. It provides short-term relief for urinary symptoms associated with BPH but does not address the underlying cause of the condition.

Research Insights

A Cochrane systematic review conducted in 2003 shed light on the effects of Tamsulosin on BPH. While participants reported improvements in symptoms, side effects such as dizziness, rhinitis, and abnormal ejaculation were noted compared to the placebo group. 

The review suggested a need for more extended studies to understand the long-term effects better. Additionally, a study in the BMJ in 2015 highlighted the potential side effect of hypotension, indicating a 15-16% increased risk of fractures and head trauma during the initial three months of taking alpha-blockers like Flomax.

Flomax For Women- Does It Have Any Side Effects?

The FDA does not approve the use of Flomax/Tamsulosin for women, but it is sometimes prescribed off-label to women for the treatment of an overactive bladder, voiding in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS), and urinary retention.

Similar to the way it works for BPH, Tamsulosin is effective by relaxing the smooth muscle in the urinary tract. Flomax is listed as a category B medication for pregnancy. This means that the side effects of flomax in females during pregnancy are unknown.

Impact On Sleep Quality

A review evaluated Tamsulosin for the treatment of lower urinary tract symptoms in women. All trials showed statistically significant improvement with Tamsulosin in female lower urinary tract symptoms (especially in women with predominant voiding dysfunction) as well as improvements in quality of life and sleep quality.

However, people reported several side effects, including, dizziness and asthenia, stress incontinence and urgency, fatigue, drowsiness, and hypotension. Tamsulosin has been studied and found helpful for reducing excessive nighttime urination in women.

Impact on Nocturia

Nocturia significantly reduces after tamsulosin treatment. Thereby, sleep quality improves too. Although some studies suggest that Flomax can improve urinary symptoms in women, the majority of evidence suggests that Tamsulosin is moderately effective at best. We need further long-term studies to evaluate the effectiveness of Flomax for women and the side effects that it can cause.

Nighttime Urination Reduction

Tamsulosin has been studied and found helpful for reducing excessive nighttime urination in women. 269 patients completed a voiding diary, and a questionnaire on the Medical Outcomes Study (MOS) sleep scale and underwent follow-up evaluation after 4 weeks of treatment (Tamsulosin, 0.2 mg, once daily).

Women taking Tamsulosin or considering taking Tamsulosin should be made aware that taking this medication means that symptoms are unlikely to go away completely. It is also essential to be aware of tamsulosin side effects in females, as it can impact the quality of life. Several natural alpha-blockers work similarly to Flomax, such as saw palmetto. and rye flower pollen.


The research into the effectiveness of Flomax for women remains limited. However, people report several sides, and the FDA has not approved the use of the drug for women. Before taking Tamsulosin, speak with your doctor about the possible side effects.

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  2. Use of alpha-blockers for urinary problems in women. Pharmacist’s Letter/Prescriber’s Letter 2003; 19(4): 190412.
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  5. Nitti VW. Is There a Role for alpha-Blockers for the Treatment of Voiding Dysfunction Unrelated to Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia?. Rev Urol. 2005;7 Suppl 4(Suppl 4):S49–S55.
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  7. Tryzelaar, L, Klay, M, Sharma, S, Bellantonio, S. (2012). Tamsulosin (“Flomax”) Use for Women with Bladder Outlet Obstruction in the Nursing Home: Demonstrative Cases, and Examples of the Benefit of Collaborative Work Between Geriatricians, Nurses and a Cons. JAMDA. 13 (3), p9–10.
  8. https://www.peoplespharmacy.com/articles/is-prostate-drug-tamsulosin-safe-for-women/

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