Tamsulosin is used to treat symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia (enlargement of the prostate).
This medicine helps relieve symptoms of prostate enlargement such as difficulty in passing urine, slow or interrupted flow of urine, frequent urination and dribbling after passing urine.
Take Tamsulosin exactly as directed by your doctor or according to the instructions on the label. Do not take more or less than instructed by your doctor.
This medicine is available as a tablet or capsule.
If you are taking the capsule, take it 30 minutes after a meal.
If you are taking the tablet, you may take it with or without food.
Take the prolonged-release type of tablet or capsule (usually labeled as "XR, XL, MR") as a whole. Do not divide, chew or crush the tablet or capsule.
Try to take it at the same time each day.
Tamsulosin must be taken regularly for it to be effective. Continue taking this medicine even when you feel better. Do not stop taking it unless instructed by the doctor.
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and return to your normal dosing schedule.
DO NOT double a dose under any circumstances.
If you often forget to take your medicine, let your doctor and pharmacist know.
Tamsulosin is not indicated for use in women.
Alert your doctor if you have the following conditions:
- history of orthostatic hypotension (fall in blood pressure when standing up from a sitting or lying down position)
- severe kidney disease
- severe liver disease
as Tamsulosin may not be suitable for you.
Some genetic traits can affect this medicine’s level in the blood. Although not routinely done, your doctor may advise you to take genetic testing to check if this medicine is best suited for you.
Individuals who are poor metaboliser of CYP2D6 may have increased level of Tamsulosin in their blood, if taken in combination with certain drugs belonging to group called CYP3A4 inhibitors e.g. ketoconazole, cimetidine.
If you know you have this gene type, inform your doctor. Please see the section “Can I take this with other medicines?” below for more information.
Inform your doctor if you have the following conditions:
- heart problem
- prostate cancer
If you are going for an eye operation, including cataract or glaucoma surgery, inform your doctor that you are taking this medicine.
Why is it important to keep my appointments with the doctor?
Keep your appointments with your doctor. Your doctor needs to monitor your condition and check your response to the medication regularly.
- routine tests (e.g. anal examination, prostate test) may be done before your treatment and while you are being treated with this medicine
- your blood pressure may fall to unsafe levels without you noticing it. Monitor your blood pressure during treatment
- regular monitoring of urinary flow may also be needed
Your doctor will advise you about how often you will need to have these tests.
Tamsulosin may cause drowsiness, dizziness or some problems with your eyesight. If affected, do not drive or take part in any activity in which you need to be alert or need to see clearly.
Other side effects include any of the following: headache, nausea, diarrhoea, vomiting, constipation, blocked or runny nose, weakness, rash, itching, dry mouth and ejaculation problems (e.g. persistent, painful erection).
You may experience dizziness when getting up from a sitting or lying down position, especially if you are taking this medicine for the first time. This is common and should disappear gradually as you get used to Tamsulosin. It will help if you get up slowly from a sitting or lying position. If you are taking this medicine for the very first time, take the first dose of this medicine at bedtime to minimise dizziness.
Some side effects may need immediate medical help. Alert your doctor quickly if you experience any of the following:
- chest pain, fast or irregular heartbeat, difficulty breathing
- rashes with peeling of the skin or blistering of the lips, mouth or eyes accompanied by fever
- nose bleeding, fainting, light-headedness, confusion
If you develop rashes, breathlessness, swollen mouth or eyes, stop taking this medicine and inform your doctor immediately. These could be signs of an allergic reaction.
Inform your doctor if any of these side effects do not go away or are severe, or if you experience other side effects.
Do not take Tamsulosin with the following medicines:
- medicines for fungal infections e.g. ketoconazole
- cimetidine (medicine for stomach ulcer)
Inform your doctor and pharmacist if you are taking any of these medicines:
- blood thinning medicines e.g. warfarin
- NSAIDs (medicines for pain and inflammation) e.g. diclofenac
- medicines for depression e.g. paroxetine
- furosemide (water pill or medicine for water retention)
- other medicines used to treat enlarged prostate e.g. doxazosin, terazosin
- medicines used for erectile dysfunction e.g. sildenafil, tadalafil
This list does not include all medicines that may interact with Tamsulosin.
Always notify your doctor and pharmacist if you are taking any other medicines, including herbal tonics such as traditional Chinese medicines, supplements and medicines that you buy without a prescription.
Store in a cool, dry place away from the reach of children.
Medicines must not be used past the expiry date.