Often, medications are best absorbed or perform better when taken on a particular schedule.
Thus, sometimes we have concrete recommendations for how to take our meds.
Tamsulosin, the active ingredient in Flomax, is known to improve urinary symptoms in benign prostatic hyperplasia and prostate cancer.
But, some people may think that taking it at night will improve the symptoms faster—especially that annoying problem of waking up to urinate at night.
Actually, some doctors recommend taking tamsulosin at night. Is it for that reason, or are there others?
In this article, we will answer the question, “Why take Flomax at bedtime?” with easy and actionable recommendations.
About Flomax (Tamsulosin)
Flomax is the trade name for tamsulosin. It is an oral capsule medication used to treat urinary symptoms associated with prostate enlargement. It is commonly used in benign prostatic hyperplasia and prostate cancer.
Flomax is an alpha-blocker, i.e., it inhibits the action of alpha receptors in muscle tissue. These receptors are found mainly in smooth muscle.
Tamsulosin is specific for the smooth muscle of the urinary tract. Thus, it helps to improve urine flow and symptoms such as weak stream and increased urinary frequency. It does so by relaxing the urethra, prostate gland, and bladder.
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How to take Flomax
Flomax is a prescription medication. It is taken orally and should not be crushed or chewed unless prescribed by your doctor.
You should swallow the capsule whole after meals. Generally, you should wait 30 minutes after eating to take it, and most patients require only one daily dose.
However, it all depends on the doctor’s instructions. In some cases, increased dosing may be required to improve treatment response.
However, a higher dose is associated with a higher risk of adverse events. In a study, 16% of patients discontinued the treatment in a high dosage due to side effects. In the low-dose group, the BPH medication was discontinued in only 5% of cases.
So, after considering this data, the wise choice is to work with your doctor to find a dosage that is suitable for you.
Flomax should be used regularly for maximum benefit. For best results, it should be taken at the same time every day.
When starting Flomax, your doctor will probably ask you to keep track of your urinary symptoms and blood pressure.
The reason is that tamsulosin components can also act as inhibitors on the smooth muscle in your blood vessels. It relaxes them and suddenly lowers blood pressure.
Therefore, it is wise to watch for symptoms such as dizziness, weakness, and lightheadedness. In rare cases, it may cause fainting or syncope.
However, the most common side effect is headache, which reaches nearly 20% of cases in safety and tolerability studies.
It is also advisable not to take the drug when you’re in the middle of an activity that requires sustained attention and avoid situations in which you may be injured in case of dizziness or fainting.
Now, let’s answer the question of why Flomax is taken at bedtime in some cases.
Is it better to take Flomax in the morning or at night?
As the introduction mentions, some medications work best at a specific time of day. That’s because some can interfere with the body’s natural cycles. Others must take effect at a particular time of day for best results.
Tamsulosin does not have that problem. It can be taken in the morning or at night with equal effectiveness.
Flomax achieves stable concentrations in the blood over time. It acts equally well on urinary tract tissue regardless of the time of day it is taken, according to the info we have.
It will be equally effective to reduce your lower urinary tract symptoms regardless of the time you take it.
The only point to remember is to take it at the same time of day for maximum effectiveness.
Some doctors may recommend taking Flomax in the evening, not in the morning or afternoon.
Why take Flomax at bedtime?
We have mentioned above that Tamsulosin can cause some people to feel dizzy, weak, tired, and even syncope or fainting.
This is due to a transient decrease in blood pressure, which is an adverse effect of the drug.
Not all patients experience this symptom. However, when developing this problem, the most appropriate solution is to take the drug in the evening. That way, the transient drop in blood pressure will not interfere with daily activities.
This recommendation can be made to people working with heavy machinery and those at risk of injury in case of adverse symptoms.
In some cases, physicians may recommend using Flomax before bedtime as a general recommendation to all their patients. After all, timing does not matter so much.
Moreover, a study evaluating the tolerability and effectiveness of tamsulosin in different schedules found no significant difference.
Tolerability was rated very good in 62% of patients taking it in the daytime and 57% at nighttime. The difference is not statistically relevant.
It doesn’t matter in most cases. But if you’re experiencing dizziness, you can try to switch the medication to a night schedule.
So, if a dose is missed for some reason, you don’t need to wait until the following night unless the hour of your next dose is very close.
The only precautions to take into account when taking Flomax during the day is not to use the drug when there is a risk of injury or if you already experienced adverse effects.
Should you take Flomax with food?
Now you’re clear on when to take tamsulosin, day or night. Let’s take on another important topic—food interactions.
You will most likely find the recommendation to consume Flomax 30 minutes after meals. This recommendation is more practical than technical.
By consuming Flomax with a particular meal, we are more likely to take it at the same time every day.
As for oral absorption of the drug, this is not affected by whether or not we have eaten. Peak plasma concentrations may decrease somewhat when taken with food.
However, although absorbed a little slower, this does not diminish its effectiveness. On the contrary, it may decrease some adverse effects such as orthostatic hypotension because peak concentration in the blood takes 1 or 2 extra hours to be reached.
This means that if the dose has not been taken 30 minutes after the meal, there is no problem with taking it shortly after on an empty stomach.
Does tamsulosin make you pee less at night?
One of the effects of tamsulosin treatment on the body is to relax the muscles around the prostate and in the bladder.
As a result, the urine flow improves, the stream becomes stronger, and there is not as much urine left in the urinary bladder after voiding.
The problem of frequent nighttime urination is due to urinary retention caused by prostate enlargement.
By solving this problem, the bladder remains empty for longer, and we are much more likely to have a more restful night’s sleep without getting up to urinate.
This is one of the first symptoms to manifest in prostate hyperplasia and prostate cancer and is called nocturia. It is one of the first symptoms to be relieved by taking tamsulosin.
Does Flomax make you pee more at night?
No, quite the opposite. It won’t make your kidney work double. It is meant to reduce your visits to the toilet and other annoying symptoms of BPH.
Tamsulosin is an alpha-blocker drug. As with other alpha-blockers, it relaxes the smooth muscle around the prostate and bladder, improving urinary tract symptoms in prostate enlargement.
Patients are usually advised to take it 30 minutes after meals. This is a practical recommendation, as it helps patients remember to take the medication at a particular time.
Also, by slowing absorption, taking it with food may decrease some adverse effects, such as orthostatic hypotension.
It is also often recommended to take Flomax before bedtime. But why take Flomax (tamsulosin) at night before bedtime? This recommendation is especially useful for people who may have some kind of injury in case of dizziness during the day, as this is an adverse effect of tamsulosin.
When taking this medication, we recommend that you keep your doctor aware of any symptoms or discomfort that may occur. Likewise, for it to work well, you should take it as your healthcare provider prescribes, preferably at the same time.