What Are The Side Effects Of Flomax Sexually?

With over 21 million prescriptions in the United States, Tamsulosin remains the single most used alpha-blocker for treating lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS) from benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). 

Patients can use it alone or with other medications to manage the symptoms of prostate enlargement. 

But, just like any prescription medication out there, tamsulosin can cause side effects. 

Some of the side effects of this prostate medicationcan impact your sex life. 

Here is a detailed analysis of the side effects of Flomax sexually. (1)

What is Flomax (Tamsulosin)?

Flomax tablets, also known by the generic name Tamsulosin, are alpha-adrenergic blockers. Flomax relaxes the bladder neck and smooth muscles in the prostate to help patients empty their bladder. 

A prescription of Flomax is typically recommended for patients with mild or moderate urinary symptoms due to increased prostate size. This prostate medication is available in capsules of 0.4 mg to 0.8 mg a day. 

When to take Flomax

The Tamsulosin 0.4 mg dose is taken daily, around 30 min after a meal – at the same time every day. For example, after dinner. 

If a patient doesn’t respond to a Tamsulosin 0.4 mg capsule after 2 to 3 weeks of taking medicine, doctors can suggest increasing the dose to 0.8 mg. 

Is Flomax for BPH approved by the FDA? 

Yes. Tamsulosin is an FDA-approved medication for managing the symptoms of an enlarged prostate.

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What is Flomax used for?

Flomax is used for managing the symptoms of urinary hesitancy triggered by BPH. The classic Flomax uses include restarting normal urine flow so that patients can empty their bladder completely. 

So how does Flomax work? Flomax can help men with dribbling or slowness when they pee or when having trouble starting to pee. (2)

Flomax helps patients with a weak urine stream and those that need to urinate a lot in the middle of the night. Tamsulosin will not shrink the size of the prostate. Instead, it relaxes the bladder and prostate muscles. 

Other than easing the bladder outlet obstruction, Flomax can help pass kidney stones. It relaxes the smooth muscles in the urinary system, such as the neck of the bladder and ureter. Therefore, it can be a viable approach for promoting a spontaneous expulsion of kidney stones.

Can women take Flomax? 

Many patients wonder whether women can take Tamsulosin. Flomax medicine is only approved for treating BPH in men. 

But, studies found that a Tamsulosin capsule might be an efficient treatment for women who can’t empty their bladders completely. So, Flomax for women can help pass kidney stones. 

Side effects of Flomax sexually

Like other prescription medications, Flomax can cause side effects. These include headache, nasal stuffiness, diarrhea, orthostatic hypotension, thirst, and dizziness. Some patients can experience side effects sexually while taking Flomax that affect their performance in bed. 

One of the side effects of Flomax sexually in males is retrograde ejaculation. Retrograde ejaculation happens when semen enters the bladder rather than coming out of the penis when reaching an orgasm. 

So, a patient can experience symptoms of abnormal ejaculation, such as:

  • Ejaculating little to no semen
  • Failure to ejaculate
  • Cloudy urine after orgasm

These Flomax sexual side effects can affect your ability to orgasm or get an erection. Even though men can still have a sexual climax, they may not ejaculate, or they might produce little semen. This is known as a dry orgasm. 

In some cases, patients can experience lower libido when taking Tamsulosin. Their interest in sex can reduce, which can take a toll on their sex life. This side effect should be temporary. But if it lasts more than a week, talk to your doctor.

A rare but serious side effect of using Tamsulosin is a prolonged erection. The partial or full erection lasts for hours or more. This side effect doesn’t have to be triggered by sexual stimulation and requires medical care.

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Does Flomax help erectile dysfunction? 

According to a controlled trial, Tamsulosin HCl capsules offered a statistical improvement in sexual desire, sexual satisfaction, and erectile function in patients with LUTS from BPH. 

But, Flomax is not a typical ejaculatory dysfunction drug. Flomax is a drug for treating the symptoms of a prostate gland condition. (3)

Can Flomax keep you from ejaculating? 

Flomax ejaculatory dysfunction is a typical concern among men with BPH. In a long-term study of taking Flomax 4 mg a day, 30% of patients had ejaculatory dysfunction. Although Flomax can help with urinary retention, it could also hinder the normal ejaculatory process. (4)

Men who develop the retrograde ejaculation side effect can still ejaculate but might notice less fluid coming out. In contrast, others experience dry orgasms. The muscle remains relaxed, which is why it doesn’t contract. So, the ejaculate ends up in the bladder. 

Is Tamsulosin like Viagra? 

Many people want to know whether tamsulosin is like Viagra. Both Flomax and Viagra are prescription medications for managing BPH symptoms. But they are different classes of medication.

Tamsulosin is an alpha-blocker for fixing the difficulty when urinating. Viagra is a PDE-5 inhibitor that can help with sexual dysfunction and erection problems. 

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Does Tamsulosin make you last longer in bed? 

Tamsulosin-induced ED can happen as an adverse reaction in normal patients. But, it could help delay ejaculation in men with premature ejaculation (PE). But, more research on tamsulosin is necessary to evaluate its effect on premature ejaculation. (5)

How does Flomax compare with other medicines for enlarged prostate? 

When comparing Flomax with different medications, it’s important to talk about the effects they can offer. Their efficacy and safety profile will vary. So, it is normal for patients to react differently to these medications. 

Flomax vs Cialis

First, let’s consider Flomax vs Cialis. Flomax is mainly for BPH, while Cialis can be a suitable medicine for men with both ED and BPH. 

Flomax vs Alfuzosin

Then there is Flomax vs Alfuzosin (Uroxatral). Both Flomax and Alfuzosin have similar side effects, like headaches and dizziness. The former can make urinating easier, and the latter can be a useful treatment for enlarged prostate where medication is necessary. 

What separates Flomax vs Uroxatral is the dosage. The usual Alfuzosin hydrochloride dose is one tablet 3 times a day. Patients start with a 2.5mg dose, which could be increased to 10 mg (4 tablets) a day. The downside of Uroxatral is that it can affect the heart rhythm.

Flomax vs Proscar

The effects of Flomax vs Proscar are entirely different. Proscar (finasteride) decreases the size of the prostate and eases the BPH symptoms. But, it could lead to a loss of arousal or sexual desire. 

The main difference between Flomax vs Finasteride is that Flomax can’t reduce the prostate size. But it can curb the urge to urinate and improve prostate symptoms. 

Flomax vs Rapaflo

When talking about Flomax vs Rapaflo, both medications are alpha-blockers. Rapaflo is newer than Tamsulosin and can work well for some patients. Others do better with Flomax. Only a healthcare professional can recommend the best name-brand medications. 

Flomax vs terazosin

According to research on the effects of Flomax vs terazosin, Tamsulosin seems to be safer than terazosin and prazosin for elderly patients and those with high blood pressure or poor blood pressure regulation. In comparison, terazosin can be drastically more effective for getting a better symptomatic score. (6) 

Flomax vs Avodart

Another similar medication is Avodart (dutasteride). The main difference between Flomax vs Avodart is that the latter can decrease the size of the prostate and ease BPH symptoms. But, it could also make the sex drive plummet when patients first start taking it. 

Flomax vs Doxazosin

Then there is Flomax vs Doxazosin. Doxazosin is an alpha-blocker that can help ease the enlarged prostate symptoms. When used together with other medicines, it can manage increased blood pressure. 

After 12 weeks of treatment, Flomax and Doxazosin had similar effectiveness for managing symptomatic BPH. But, at 4 weeks, there was a drastic improvement in symptoms in patients using doxazosin vs those on Tamsulosin. (7)

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What are the dangers of taking Tamsulosin?

Check in with your doctor to see if the medicine is working correctly for you. Some patients can experience a severe allergic reaction, followed by swelling of the throat, tongue, or face. They can experience trouble breathing or develop blisters on the skin. Talk to a specialist if that happens.

Get medical attention if you have a prolonged erection right after taking a dose. This is a rare side effect that needs urgent treatment. There are also possible medication interactions. Other alpha-blockers like terazosin and prazosin can interact with this drug.

If you are already using ED meds, like Viagra or Cialis, or drugs for pulmonary hypertension, then the blood pressure can plummet. This is why patients feel dizzy or faint. 

Can you drink alcohol with Flomax? 

It should be OK to consume alcohol with Flomax. But, it’s best to refrain from drinking for the first couple of days. Alcohol can increase Flomax’s blood pressure lowering effect, which can make you feel lightheaded, woozy, or dizzy.

To make sure Tamsulosin is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have low blood pressure, allergy to sulfa medication, kidney disease, liver disease, or high risk for prostate cancer. 

Natural Flomax (Tamsulosin) alternatives

Many herbal supplements can help with BPH symptoms and improve prostate health. They have a mild side effect profile and numerous beneficial properties. Countless men have found success using natural treatment alternatives, and there is some research to back them up. 

The most popular natural Flomax alternatives include:

Saw palmetto 

The berry extract of saw palmetto is a go-to phytotherapeutic agent for treating LUTS from BPH. It appears to be just as efficient as finasteride, more affordable, and better tolerated. 

The difference between Flomax vs saw palmetto is that saw palmetto is a natural remedy for prostate issues, while Flomax isn’t. 

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Beta-sitosterol 

This is a plant-based substance present in veggies, fruits, and nuts. Herbal treatments that contain beta-sitosterol can ease the symptoms in patients with mild to moderate BPH. (8)

Pygeum 

Any supplements or extracts that come from the bark of the Prunus Africana tree contain chemicals that can help decrease the prostate in men with BPH. Since Pygeum might also relieve nighttime urination and reduced urine flow, it can be a useful Flomax substitute.

Stinging nettle 

Stinging nettle supplements are practical Tamsulosin alternatives since they can help soothe urination problems from BPH. This includes pain when urinating, trouble emptying the bladder, irritable bladder, and so on. 

Foods for treating BPH 

Foods are a key aspect of managing the symptoms of enlarged prostate. Products like broccoli, nuts, salmon, berries, citrus, garlic, and onion can be a valuable addition to any prostate diet. 

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Conclusion

Tamsulosin is an alpha-blocker that can improve lower urinary tract symptoms from BPH. Its efficiency can vary from patient to patient. It can’t shrink the prostate, but it can offer some symptom relief. 

However, Flomax can cause side effects sexually, some of which can affect your sex life. The classic sexual side effect is retrograde ejaculation. A rare but potentially dangerous and painful side effect is a prolonged erection. 

Talk to a doctor if you experience any unwanted effects from taking this medication. A healthcare expert can adjust the dose or recommend a different medication or natural alternative.

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Sources

  1. Kava BR, Verbeek AE, Wruck JM, Gittelman M. Tamsulosin dispensation patterns in the United States: a real-world, longitudinal, population claims database analysis. Transl Androl Urol. 2019. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6732091/
  2. LiverTox: Clinical and Research Information on Drug-Induced Liver Injury [Internet]. Bethesda (MD): National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases; 2012. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK548017/
  3. Shelbaia A, Elsaied WM, Elghamrawy H, Abdullah A, Salaheldin M. Effect of selective alpha-blocker tamsulosin on erectile function in patients with lower urinary tract symptoms due to benign prostatic hyperplasia. Urology. 2013. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23711438/
  4. Song SH, Son H, Kim KT, Kim SW, Moon du G, Moon KH, Park K, Park JK, Lee SW, Hyun JS, Park NC. Effect of tamsulosin on ejaculatory function in BPH/LUTS. Asian J Androl. 2011. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3739550/
  5. Choi JH, Hwa JS, Kam SC, Jeh SU, Hyun JS. Effects of tamsulosin on premature ejaculation in men with benign prostatic hyperplasia. World J Mens Health. 2014. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4166377/
  6. Tsujii T. Comparison of prazosin, terazosin and tamsulosin in the treatment of symptomatic benign prostatic hyperplasia: a short-term open, randomized multicenter study. BPH Medical Therapy Study Group. Benign prostatic hyperplasia. Int J Urol. 2000. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/10843450/
  7. Pompeo AC, Rosenblatt C, Bertero E, DA Ros CT, Cairoli CE, Damião R, Wroclawski ER, Koff WJ, Mesquita F, Pinheiro GE; Doxazosin and Tamsulosin Study Investigator Group. A randomised, double-blind study comparing the efficacy and tolerability of controlled-release doxazosin and tamsulosin in the treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia in Brazil. Int J Clin Pract. 2006. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1618820/
  8. Wilt TJ, Ishani A, MacDonald R, Stark G, Mulrow CD, Lau J. Beta‐sitosterols for benign prostatic hyperplasia. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 1999, Issue 3. Art. No.: CD001043. https://www.cochranelibrary.com/cdsr/doi/10.1002/14651858.CD001043/full

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