If your doctor just wrote a new prescription for Flomax, you’re probably wondering about the Flomax side effects you might experience. Older men frequently have issues with bladder dysfunction, difficulties urinating and an enlarged prostate. Flomax is a drug that helps ease these symptoms to provide at least some relief.
What is Flomax?
Flomax is the brand name of the generic drug tamsulosin, which is an alpha-blocker. Alpha blockers are adrenoreceptor antagonists, which block receptors.
Generic forms of tamsulosin are available over-the-counter, but the brand name Flomax is only available by prescription. It’s typically taken once daily, orally in a pill form, and after a meal. Doctors will adjust the dosage amount and schedule based on a patient’s individual medical needs.
Here’s A Video of ” Flomax (tamsulosin): Know Your Drug, Uses and It’s Side Effects”
Why Take Flomax?
Older men commonly have an enlarged prostate, called prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). If you suffer from this condition, your doctor might prescribe Flomax.
When the prostate gland enlarges, it presses on the urethra and prevents urine from draining out of the bladder. The drug relaxes the muscles in the prostate and bladder to make urination easier. Doctors also prescribe it to help patients pass kidney stones.
While only approved for use in men, Flomax is often prescribed off-label for women. Doctors have prescribed the drug to help women pass kidney stones and to help with bladder outlet obstruction (BOO). Researchers only studied the medicine for its effect on the prostate so far; however, the thought is that it will also work on other receptors in the urinary tract.
People who have multiple sclerosis (MS) often suffer from a neurogenic bladder. Rather than emptying fully, their bladder retains urine and sometimes catheterization is necessary. Flomax is commonly prescribed to help individuals with MS who have bladder dysfunction.
When Not to Take Flomax
As with any drug, existing medical conditions may prevent you from taking Flomax. There are also some medications with which you can’t take Flomax.
Medical conditions that prevent the use of Flomax
Some of Flomax side effects can worsen other medical conditions. Two of the most common Flomax side effects are dizziness and lightheadedness. If you already suffer from low blood pressure and are prone to fainting, taking Flomax can worsen this condition.
Patients who suffer from kidney disease should talk to their doctor before taking any over-the-counter versions of Flomax. Kidneys filter waste from your body. If kidney function is impaired, they could remove Flomax more slowly from your body, and your doctor might need to adjust your dosage.
Some Patients have abnormal liver functioning tests when taking Flomax. If you are suffering from severe liver disease, taking Flomax could obscure any liver function tests, Flomax may not be the best drug for you. Your doctor will likely want to avoid any false results of liver tests and will not allow you to take Flomax.
Patients who plan on cataract or glaucoma surgery should inform their doctor if they are taking or have taken Flomax in the last nine months. Some patients who had taken Flomax and had these eye surgeries developed a serious eye problem called Intraoperative Floppy Iris Syndrome, which causes a significant increase in surgical complications. Don’t start taking Flomax if you’re planning on having this surgery.
Another of the Flomax side effects reported in some studies of Flomax users was coronary artery disease (CAD). While the connection between Flomax and CAD isn’t fully established, as a precaution, doctors are unlikely to prescribe Flomax if you already have CAD.
Patients with diabetes have experienced hyperglycemia, or elevated blood sugar levels, after taking Flomax. However, when they discontinued usage, their blood levels returned to normal. If you have diabetes and want to try Flomax, your doctor may suggest an alternative.
Medications not to take with Flomax
When taking a new medication, you should always check with your doctor about possible interactions with other medicines you’re taking, certain drugs are known to interact poorly with Flomax. Patients with an allergy to sulfa drugs can experience an increased allergic reaction as a Flomax side effect. If you’re already taking similar medicines such as doxazosin (Cardura), silodosin (Rapaflo), prazosin (Minipress), terazosin (Hytrin), alfuzosin (Uroxatral), you can’t take Flomax at the same time.
Because some medications affect how the body removes Flomax they also affect how it works. These drugs include HIV protease inhibitors (such as lopinavir, ritonavir), ribociclib, boceprevir, clarithromycin, cobicistat and azole antifungals (such as itraconazole, ketoconazole).
Drugs used to treat erectile dysfunction could interact with Flomax to reduce your blood pressure below a safe level. Low blood pressure can lead to dizziness and fainting. Work with your doctor to adjust dosages as needed.
Physical Flomax Side Effects
The most common Flomax side effects when first taking the drug are dizziness and lightheadedness. If you’re new to taking the drug, do not take it before driving or operating heavy machinery. Be careful when standing up suddenly as well.
Other common Flomax side effects include;
- A runny nose
- Joint pain
- Blurred vision
- Decreased sex drive
- Ejaculation problems
Serious Flomax Side Effects
If you experience any of these serious Flomax side effects, you should immediately call your doctor. Severe allergic reactions such as your face, tongue or throat swelling, difficulty breathing, or blisters on your skin are cause for concern. While extremely rare, a prolonged erection that lasts four hours or longer is a Flomax side effect that can lead to permanent erectile damage.
Other serious Flomax side effects include:
- chest pain
- fever, aches or chills
- feeling like you might pass out or passing out
Psychological Flomax Side Effects?
Patients taking Flomax have reported suffering from major depression while on the drug. Those same patients reported stress and anxiety as other top Flomax side effects. However, this may not be a Flomax side effect but rather caused by the normal incidence of depression in the general population.
Good Flomax Side Effects
A good Flomax side effect is that it makes urination easier and allows men to empty their bladders fully. Therefore, they wake up less during the night to urinate. Because they can empty the bladder fully, they’re less likely to have bladder infections.
Often, doctors give Flomax to patients with large kidney stones. Studies show that it helps them pass the stones more successfully than patients who didn’t receive Flomax. The drug can help prevent surgical interventions.
Flomax Can Help
If you have no other conditions that would preclude taking Flomax, it can be an excellent choice to help older men urinate regularly. It can also help women who deal with urinary difficulties. Relief from the excruciating pain of a large kidney stone is also a good reason to consider taking the drug. Given some of its side effects, however, you might want to consider alternatives and discuss options with your doctor.