Flomax for Women

Although commonly considered an alpha-blocker medication prescribed to men battling benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), Flomax can also be prescribed for women experiencing bladder blockages or obstruction to help them urinate more easily.

BPH is a condition that affects about 50 percent of men between the ages of 51 and 60 and up to 90 percent of men older than 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?

As discussed, Flomax is generally used to relieve urinary symptoms associated with BPH. Doctors may also prescribe tamsulosin to help the body clear or pass kidney stones.

Flomax works by paralyzing the muscles around your urethra and your bladder sphincter. The sphincter muscles enable you to hold in your urine until you can get to a toilet.

However, although it helps to ease urination, it does not affect your prostate health whatsoever.

You may experience short-term relief of urinary symptoms, but it does not address the underlying cause.

A 2003 Cochrane systematic review looked at the effects of Tamsulosin for BPH. The analysis involved 14 studies, ranging between 1 to 6 months long.

Although the participants reported improvements in symptoms, it was also found that men reported dizziness, rhinitis, and abnormal ejaculation compared to the placebo group.

The authors of this review suggested a need for more extended studies looking at the long term effects was required.

A further known side effect of Flomax is hypotension. A study in the BMJ (October 26, 2015) revealed that alpha-blockers, such as Flomax, can increase the risk of falls. The study found a 15-16% increased risk for fractures and head trauma during the first three months of taking such medications.

Flomax is also used as a treatment for kidney stones. Kidney stones form as a buildup of various compounds that become sedimented in the upper urinary tract.

They often go unnoticed as they do not grow big enough and can be eliminated without causing any significant symptoms.

Flomax is known to relax the smooth muscle in the urinary tract. It may also reduce the effect of entrapment that often leads to urinary obstruction in cases of kidney stones.

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Flomax Warnings

Does Flomax have side effects?

The problem with the prescription medication is that it has side effects and like other drugs do. Here is a list of some of the long list of adverse effects from Flomax:

Pregnancy and Flomax

The FDA does not approve the use of Flomax for women, but Tamsulosin 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 during pregnancy are unknown.

Tamsulosin interactions with

  • Acid-blocking drugs, such as cimetidine

  • Antibiotics

  • Antidepressants (SSRI)

  • Antifungal drugs, such as ketoconazole

  • Medication for erectile dysfunction

Is Flomax Effective?

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.

269 patients completed a voiding diary, 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).

The effectiveness of the treatment was assessed by analysis of the IPSS, the bother score, the Qmax, and postvoid residual urine (PVR).

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 studie to evaluate the effectiveness of Flomax for women and the side effects that it can cause.

Meanwhile, extensive studies have reviewed the use of Flomax for men, especially in regard to treating BPH.

A large number of these studies have reported dangerous side effects associated with Flomax including; erectile dysfunction, hypotension, long-term incontinence, and floppy iris syndrome.

Women taking Tamsulosin or considering taking Tamsulosin should be made aware that taking this medication means that symptoms are unlikely to go completely.

It is also essential to bear in mind that Flomax can have significant side effects that can impact the quality of life. There are several natural alpha blockers that work in a similar way to Flomax, such as saw palmetto. and rye flower pollen.


The research into the effectiveness of Flomax for women remains limited. However, people report a number of side, 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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Flomax for Women - Ben's Natural Health
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Flomax for Women - Ben's Natural Health
Flomax has long been the mainstay of treatment for men with BPH. However, little research has investigated the use of Flomax for women.
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Ben's Natural Health Team
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  1. Meyer LE, Brown JN. Tamsulosin for voiding dysfunction in women. 2012. In: Database of Abstracts of Reviews of Effects (DARE): Quality-assessed Reviews [Internet]. York (UK): Centre for Reviews and Dissemination (UK); 1995-.
  2. Use of alpha-blockers for urinary problems in women. Pharmacist’s Letter/Prescriber’s Letter 2003; 19(4): 190412.
  3. Ruggieri M, Braverman A, Pontari M. Combined use of [alpha]-adrenergic and muscarinic antagonists for the treatment of
    voiding dysfunction. J Urol 2005;174:1743-8.
  4. Andersson, KE. Storage and voiding symptoms: pathophysiologic aspects. Urology 2003;62:3-10.
  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.
  6. Chang, S, Chiang, N, Jeng, H . (2008). The effectiveness of tamsulosin in treating women with voiding difficulty. The Japanese Urological Association. 15 (1), p981–985.
  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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  1. Samantha

    I am a 42 year old woman and am in flow max for two weeks until I can get a ureter stent removed, after kidney stone surgery. I can’t stay hydrated! If u push on the skin of my shin a dip shape remains when I remove my finger from it. My neck hurts. My face is radiating heat. My muscles and joints ache with out relief. My sinuses are stuffy and runny. I’m fatigued and have a cloudy brain. And I’m peeing CONSTANTLY! Head ache, dizzy, pulse rate over 90 beats per minute. But I have to keep taking it until I can get the stent out according to the urologist. It is torture. Women, if u don’t need it, don’t take it!

    • Ben's Natural Health Team

      Hi Samantha,

      Sorry to hear of your condition.

      Flomax Tamsulosin does come with a lot of potential side effects and it sounds as though you’re experiencing many of the common ones. We’d recommend consulting with your doctor if there is any alternative prescription available to you since you’re experiencing this reaction to Flomax.

      Wishing you good health,
      Ben’s Natural Health Team

  2. Jane

    I am an 82 yo woman with some urinary retention. Started FloMax 2 night ago. And haven’t slept. 8 trips to the toilet last night. Pee comes flooding out each time. I will not take Flomax again. Ridiculous.

    • Ben's Natural Health Team

      Hi Jane,

      Thanks for your comment.

      We share your concerns regarding the use of Flomax for urinary symptoms. Flomax works to mask urinary symptoms by relaxing your sphincter muscles which can result in less control of urination and incontinence as these muscles become weaker.

      📧: [email protected]
      ☎️: 888 868 3554

      Wishing you good health,
      Ben’s Natural Health Team

  3. Janet Hillard

    Flomax works great for me. I have been on it for 2 weeks, and have found it to be very helpful. My bladder empties and no dribbling. I do not urinate at night at all, and have been very pleased with the results.