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Flomax

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Flomax (Tamsulosin) is an alpha-blocker that is used to improve symptoms, associated with an enlarged prostate.


Drug Name

Flomax (Tamsulosin)

Drug Uses

This medication is an alpha-blocker that is used to improve symptoms, associated with an enlarged prostate (benign prostatic hypertrophy). It works by relaxing muscles in the bladder and prostate. This may improve urine flow rates and decrease urinary hesitancy/urgency. This medication should not be used to treat high blood pressure.

How Taken

Take this medication by mouth, generally once daily. Take the first dose at bedtime to minimize the chances of getting dizzy or fainting. After the first dose, take your regularly scheduled dose 30 minutes after the same meal each day; or take exactly as directed by your doctor. Do not crush, chew or open the capsule. Swallow it whole. The dosage is based on your medical condition and response to therapy. Use this medication regularly in order to get the most benefit from it. Remember to use it at the same time each day. If you have not taken this drug for several days, contact your doctor to re-establish your dosing schedule. To minimize side effects, you will be restarted at the lowest dose. The dosage will then gradually be increased. It may take up to 4 weeks to notice an improvement in symptoms. Read the Patient Information Leaflet, available from your pharmacist. Consult your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.

Drug Class and Mechanism

Flomax is a drug for the treatment of men who are having difficulty urinating because of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). In men, the tube which carries urine from the bladder to the penis (called the urethra) travels through the prostate gland. As men get older, the prostate gland enlarges, and the muscle cells within the prostate gland and the neck of the bladder (which control the flow of urine) tighten. The combination of enlargement and tightening of muscles compresses the urethra and obstructs the flow of urine. This results in difficulty urinating and retention of urine within the bladder. The tightening or contraction of the muscle cells is controlled by nerves. One type of nerve, the alpha adrenergic nerves, cause the muscle cells to tighten by releasing a chemical related to epinephrine (adrenalin). Flomax blocks the effects of this chemical on the muscle cells and causes the muscles to relax. This results in a decrease in obstruction to the flow of urine. There are other drugs which block alphaadrenergic nerves throughout the body and which are used in treating diseases of the heart, blood vessels, and prostate, for example, prazosin (Minipress), terazosin (Hytrin), doxazosin (Cardura), and alfuzosin (Uroxatral). Flomax is more active against the alpha adrenergic nerves of the prostate and bladder neck than these other drugs and has a lesser effect on alpha adrenergic nerves elsewhere in the body. For this reason, flomax causes fewer side effects, especially low blood pressure, than other alpha adrenergic blocking drugs. Moreover, flomax therapy can be started at the optimum dose whereas other alpha adrenergic blocking drugs need to be started at low doses with the doses slowly increased over time in order to minimize the side effects.

Missed Dose

If you miss a dose, use it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose and resume your usual dosing schedule. Do not double the dose to catch.

Storage

Store this product at the room temperature of 77 degrees F (25 degrees C) away from light and moisture. Brief storage between 59-86 degrees (15-30 degrees C) is permitted.