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Tamsulosin (alpha-1 receptor blocker)

Know the basics|Know the precautions & warnings|Know the side effects|Know the interactions|Understand the dosage

Tamsulosin is a prescription-only drug that blocks alpha-1 receptors. By blocking these receptors in prostate muscle cells, it causes relaxation. This improves urine flow, especially for men with enlarged prostates.


Know the basics

What is tamsulosin used for?

Treating the signs and symptoms of an enlarged prostate or benign prostatic hyperplasia.

How should I take tamsulosin?

Read the directions on the packaging for complete information. Check the label and expiration date.

Swallow tablets or capsules whole without chewing, crushing, or dissolving them in water. It should be taken on an empty stomach, at least 1-2 hours before meals or 2-3 hours after meals.

How do I store tamsulosin?

This product is best stored at room temperature away from direct light and moisture. To prevent drug damage, you should not store it in the bathroom or the freezer.

There may be different brands of this drug that may have different storage needs. So, it is important to always check the product package for instructions on storage, or ask your pharmacist. For safety, you should keep all medicines away from children and pets.

You should not flush this product down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Additionally, it is important to properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist for more details about how to safely discard your product.

Know the precautions & warnings

What should I know before using tamsulosin?

Before using this drug, tell your doctor if you are/have:

  • Pregnant or breastfeeding.
  • Taking any other medicines. This includes any prescription, OTC, and herbal remedies.
  • An allergy to any of the ingredients of this product.
  • Any other illnesses, disorders, or medical conditions.

Is it safe to take tamsulosin during pregnancy or breast-feeding?

Unfortunately, there isn’t enough information about the safety of using this drug during pregnancy and breastfeeding. Currently, tamsulosin is only prescribed to males. Please always consult with your doctor to weigh the potential benefits and risks before taking any medication.

Know the side effects

What are the side effects of tamsulosin?

Like all drugs, this product may have side effects. If they occur, side effects are generally mild and resolve once treatment is finished or the dose is lowered. Some reported side effects include:

  • Orthostatic hypotension
  • Syncope (fainting)
  • Epistaxis (nosebleed)
  • Vision impairment
  • Nausea, vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Dry mouth
  • Malaise, flu-like symptoms
  • Rhinitis
  • Skin rash, urticaria
  • Chest pain
  • Ejaculation disorder or failure
  • Priapism (painful and/or long-lasting erection for ≥ 4 hours)

However, not everyone experiences these side effects. In addition, some people may experience other side effects. So, if you have any concerns about a side effect, please consult your doctor or pharmacist.

Know the interactions

What drugs may interact with tamsulosin?

This medication may interact with other drugs that you are currently taking, which can change how your drug works or increase your risk for serious side effects.

To avoid any potential drug interactions, you should keep a list of all the drugs you are using (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist.

Drugs with known interactions:

  • CYP3A4 inhibitors (e.g. cimetidine, azole antifungals)
  • CYP2D6 inhibitors (e.g. paroxetine)
  • Furosemide
  • Diclofenac
  • Warfarin
  • PDE5 inhibitors (e.g. sildenafil)
  • Other alpha-1 receptor blockers

If you experience an adverse drug interaction, inform your doctor immediately to reevaluate your treatment plan. Approaches include dose adjustment, drug substitution, or ending therapy.

Does food or alcohol interact with tamsulosin?

This drug may interact with food or alcohol by altering the way the drug works or increase the risk for serious side effects. It is best taken on an empty stomach. Please discuss with your doctor or pharmacist any potential food or alcohol interactions before using this drug.

What health conditions may interact with tamsulosin?

This drug may interact with underlying conditions. This interaction may worsen your health condition or alter the way the drug works. Therefore, it is important to always let your doctor and pharmacist know all the health conditions you currently have, especially:

Understand the dosage

The information provided is not a substitute for any medical advice. Therefore, you should always consult with your doctor or pharmacist before using any medication.

What is the dose for an adult?

Start taking 0.4 mg (400 mcg) once a day, up to 0.8 mg (800 mcg) a day.

What is the dose for a child?

There is no established pediatric dose. It may be unsafe for your child. It is always important to fully understand the safety of the drug before using. Please consult with your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

How is tamsulosin available?

Tamsulosin is available in the following dosage forms and strengths:

  • Capsules: 400 mcg
  • Tablets: 400 mcg

What should I do in case of an emergency or overdose?

In case of an emergency or an overdose, call your local emergency services or go to the nearest emergency room.

What should I do if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take your regular dose as scheduled. Do not take a double dose.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.


Tamsulosin https://www.mims.com/philippines/drug/info/tamsulosin?mtype=generic Accessed June 23, 2021

Tamsulosin https://www.nhs.uk/medicines/tamsulosin/ Accessed June 23, 2021

Tamsulosin https://pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/compound/Tamsulosine Accessed June 23, 2021

Tamsulosin (Oral Route) https://www.mayoclinic.org/drugs-supplements/tamsulosin-oral-route/description/drg-20068275 Accessed June 23, 2021

Tamsulosin. Lexi-Drugs. Lexicomp. Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. Riverwoods, IL. Accessed June 23, 2021. http://online.lexi.com

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Written by Stephanie Nicole Nera, RPh, PharmD Updated Jun 23, 2021