Flomax (Tamsulosin) for Prostatitis
Flomax (tamsulosin hydrochloride [tam-SOO-loe-sin HIGH-droe-KLOR-ide]) is an alpha-adrenergic blocker (also called an alpha blocker). This medication relaxes prostate and bladder muscles to enable easier urination.
Flomax has been shown to cause dizziness and vertigo. In patients taking Flomax or other alpha blockers, there is a potential risk for fainting. When starting treatment with Flomax, patients should avoid situations where injury may occur as a result of fainting. There is risk of severe hypotension especially in the first few weeks of taking Flomax.
On very rare occasions, Flomax and other alpha blockers have been linked to penile erection pain that can last over four hours and is unrelated to sexual activity (priapism). Patients should seek immediate medical attention for this condition, as it may lead to permanent impotence if not treated properly.
Sexual side effects may include erectile dysfunction, loss of libido, reduced sperm count, reduce semen volume, and movement of sperm, ejaculation problems, and abnormal orgasm.
Do not use this medication to treat high blood pressure.
Talk to you doctor if you are having cataract surgery, as Flomax is associated with serious complications.
Why Is Flomax Prescribed for Prostatitis?
Flomax and other alpha blockers may decrease the risk of acute urinary retention and improve lower urinary tract symptoms, including pain. Flomax may help control prostatitis, but it will not cure it.
In cases of acute bacterial prostatitis, Flomax or other alpha blockers may be used to improve disruptive, irritating symptoms of urination.
In cases of chronic bacterial prostatitis, this medication or other alpha blockers may reduce the risk of recurrence.
In cases of CPPS, Flomax or other alpha blockers may improve urinary symptoms and symptoms of pain and discomfort.
How Should Flomax Be Used?
Before taking this medication, read the patient information provided with this prescription from your pharmacist. Talk to your doctor if you have any questions.
Dose is dependent on medical condition and response to treatment. You doctor may start you on a lower dose and increase the doasage after two to four weeks.
Take Flomax orally as directed by your physician. This medication is usually administered once each day.
Take this medication at the same time daily, 30 minutes after a meal. Use habitually to get the most benefit from Flomax.
Do not open the capsule, chew, or crush this medication; swallow it whole.
If you do not take this drug for many days, discuss with your physician if you need to start on a lower dose of Flomax once you begin taking it again.
You may not notice an improvement of symptoms for up to four weeks after starting this medication. If your symptoms do not improve or get worse after this time period, tell your physician.
Other Uses for Flomax
Flomax is used to treat symptoms of an enlarged prostate (BPH), including trouble starting the flow of urine or an inadequate flow. It is used to reduce the need to urinate often or suddenly, even while sleeping at night.
Flomax may be used to spur along the process of passing kidney stones through urination.
It may also be used to treat bladder issues in women.
Do I Need to Follow Special Precautions?
Before taking Flomax, patients should be examined for carcinoma of the prostate because benign enlargement of the prostate may cause a number of the same symptoms; cancer should be ruled out before taking this medication.
Inform your physician if you’ve ever had prostate cancer or liver or kidney disease before taking this medication.
Flomax should not be taken simultaneously with other alpha blockers, as they may interact with each other.
There has been evidence of a drug interaction with Flomax and Tagamet (cimetidine), especially at doses higher than 0.4 mg. Discuss with your doctor if you are taking Tagament before starting Flomax.
Use caution when combining the use of Coumadin (warfarin) and Flomax.
When taking this medication, exercise caution when driving, operating machinery, or performing other potentially dangerous tasks, as Flomax may cause dizziness.
Your doctor should inform you of the potential side effect of priapism when taking this medication. If you experience priapism, tell your physician immediately.
Do not crush or chew this medication.
Inform your physician if you are allergic to Flomax, sulfa medications, or have other allergies before taking this medication. Inactive ingredients in this drug may cause an allergic reaction.
Provide your physician with a medical history before taking this medication.
Limit the use of alcoholic beverages while taking Flomax.
Stand up slowly after lying or sitting down to reduce the risk of dizziness or fainting, especially if you just began using this medication, or if your doctor has changed your dose.
Inform you doctor that you are taking this medication before having any surgeries including dental surgery.
Tell your doctor about any other prescription and nonprescription products you’re currently taking, including medications for erectile dysfunction.
Do I Need to Follow a Special Diet When Taking Flomax?
Follow your regular diet unless directed otherwise by a physician. Take this medication at the same time daily, 30 minutes after a meal.
What If I Forget a Dose?
If a dose is missed, take the medication as soon as you remember. However, if nearing the time when you are supposed to take the next dose, skip the missed dose and resume your regular schedule. If a dose is missed, do not double the dose.
Are There Side Effects When Taking Flomax for Prostatitis?
Side effects of this medication may include:
- Runny or stuffy nose
- Difficulty ejaculating
- Abnormal orgasm
- Reduced semen volume
- Loss of libido
- Blurred vision
- Signs of infection/flu symptoms (cough, fever, sore throat, chills)
- Chest pain
- Back pain
- Symptoms similar to Peyronie’s disease
If you experience any of these side effects, tell your physician. Inform your physician immediately if any symptoms persist.
If you experience the rare side effect of fainting while taking this medication, inform your physician immediately.
If you experience a painful or lingering erection that continues for four hours or longer, stop taking this medication immediately and seek medical attention.
Serious, rare allergic reactions to this medication include:
- Itching or swelling, particularly of the face, tongue, throat, or extremities
- Extreme dizziness
- Difficulty breathing
- Priapism (painful erection that lasts for hours)
If you experience any of these serious allergic reactions, seek medical attention immediately.
Other side effects may occur. Discuss potential side effects with your physician.
Does Flomax Have Special Storage Instructions?
This medication should remain in its original container, sealed tightly.
This medication should be stored at room temperature away from light and moisture. Keep this medication away from children and pets. Do not store in the bathroom.
Discard this product properly when it is expired. (Do not flush it down the toilet or rinse it down the drain.)
What Do I Do in the Case of an Accidental Overdose?
Overdose symptoms may include:
- Blurred vision
- Upset stomach
In case of a suspected overdose, contact an emergency room or poison control center immediately. For a local control center in the United States, call 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents: call a poison control center within your province.
What Else Should I Know About Flomax for Prostatitis?
Other medications may interact with Flomax, including drugs to treat erectile dysfunction or pulmonary hypertension.
The drug Jalyn contains tamsulosin, the same ingredient in Flomax.
Certain medications may affect how well this product works by removing it from the body, including azole antifungals, macrolide antibiotics, nefazodone, HIV protease inhibitors, and other HIV medication.
Discuss your current medications, vitamins, minerals and dietary supplements you are taking with your doctor.
Do not let anyone else take your medication.