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Written by Rajive Patel, BPharm
Updated on 26 Mar 2024

What to do if you missed your tamsulosin dose

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Other known brand names

Flomax, Contiflo XL

About tamsulosin

Tamsulosin belongs to a class of drugs known as alpha-1 blockers. It is used for the treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), an enlargement of the prostate, in men. It is sometimes used to treat kidney stones and prostatitis.

Alpha blockers such as tamsulosin reduce your blood pressure by relaxing blood vessels, allowing blood to pass through more easily. Tamsulosin also helps to reduce symptoms of an enlarged prostate by relaxing muscle around the prostate and bladder allowing you to pee more easily.

Tamsulosin may also be combined with solifenacin or dutasteride to treat bladder problems and an enlarged prostate. It is available with a prescription or you can buy it over the counter from a pharmacy under the brand name Flomax Relief.

Now Patient offers tamsulosin as a treatment for urinary retention only, following an online consultation with a prescribing clinician.

Key facts of tamsulosin

  • It can be dangerous if you take tamsulosin with certain medications. If you’re not sure if it is safe, discuss this with the prescribing clinician
  • You may feel dizzy or lightheaded when you first take tamsulosin. Sit or lie down if this happens, until your feel better
  • You should stop drinking alcohol when you first start taking tamsulosin, until you see how it affects you

Who is tamsulosin suitable for?

Tamsulosin is suitable for most adults aged 18 and over.

Who is tamsulosin not suitable for?

Tamsulosin may not be suitable for some people. To make sure it’s safe for you, speak to the prescribing clinician before taking tamsulosin if you:

  • Have ever had an allergic reaction to tamsulosin hydrochloride, sulfa medications or any other similar medicines, such as alfuzosin, prazosin, doxazosin, or terazosin
  • Have orthostatic hypotension (low blood pressure that makes you feel light-headed when you stand up)
  • Have severe kidney or liver problems
  • Have cataracts or glaucoma and are having eye surgery
  • Have micturition syncope (faint while peeing or immediately afterwards)

How and where to get tamsulosin?

Tamsulosin is available from a number of sources. It is available on prescription or over the counter at a pharmacy.

Now Patient does not allow customers to buy tamsulosin directly. Our service is certified, safe and effective, and we only ever treat conditions. If you book a consultation with a prescribing clinician for the treatment of urinary retention, you can discuss if tamsulosin is a suitable treatment option for you.

At the end of the consultation, the clinician will decide if a treatment plan is suitable for you. If it is, the clinician will issue you with a prescription which can then be ordered, paid for and delivered directly to your chosen address by Now Patient.

Dosage and strength for tamsulosin for urinary retention

Tamsulosin is available in capsule form when used for urinary retention, it is available as 400 mcg capsules. The typical dose of tamsulosin for an enlarged prostate or kidney stones is 400 mcgs, once daily.

Information about how to take tamsulosin for urinary retention

Take tamsulosin capsules at the same time each day with a full glass of water, either standing or sitting. Swallow the capsules whole. Do not chew, crush, or break the capsules.

Take tamsulosin in the morning with your first meal of the day. This will allow tamsulosin to work during the day when you are more likely to pee. Speak to a healthcare professional for further medical advice.

What happens if you take too much tamsulosin?

If you take more than prescribed, then it can lead to some unpleasant side effects. You should talk to your doctor or reach out to one of our prescribing clinicians, if you have taken too much tamsulosin and you experience any of the following side effects:

What are the side effects of tamsulosin?

Side effects of tamsulosin are split into common and serious.

Common side effects include:

  • Abnormal ejaculation
  • Decreased semen
  • Dizziness, drowsiness, feeling weak
  • Stuffy or runny nose, sore throat, cough
  • Chest pain, back pain, headache
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Decreased sex dive

If you experience any serious side effects, you should contact NHS 111.

If you experience a serious allergic reaction with the signs shown below you should contact emergency services on 999.

  • Your lips, mouth, throat or tongue suddenly become swollen
  • You’re breathing very fast or struggling to breathe (you may become very wheezy or feel like you’re choking or gasping for air)
  • Your throat feels tight or you’re struggling to swallow
  • Your skin, tongue or lips turn blue, grey or pale (if you have black or brown skin, this may be easier to see on the palms of your hands or soles of your feet)
  • You suddenly become very confused, drowsy or dizzy
  • Someone faints and cannot be woken up

Information about taking tamsulosin at the same time as other medications or herbal supplements

There is not enough evidence to suggest there are any drug interactions between herbal supplements and tamsulosin. In any event, you should let your prescribing clinician know if you are taking any herbal supplements. Also, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you’re taking other prescription drugs, such as:

  • Alpha-blockers such as alfuzosin, doxazosin, prazosin or terazosin
  • Medication for erectile dysfunction such as sildenafil, tadalafil or vardenafil
  • Ketoconazole
  • Erythromycin or clarithromycin
  • Diclofenac
  • Warfarin

Can tamsulosin taken for urinary retention be taken long-term?

How long you take tamsulosin will depend on why you are taking it. You can take tamsulosin long-term for an enlarged prostate if it is helping your symptoms. Your doctor will check it’s still working every few months. If you are taking it for kidney stones, you may be told to stop taking it if it is not working or your kidney stones have gone.

Speak to your doctor if you have side effects and want to stop taking tamsulosin. Stopping treatment suddenly may make your symptoms come back.

Is there a herbal tamsulosin?

No. Herbal tamsulosin does not exist. If you have been marketed such a formulation, it may be fake.

Can women use tamsulosin?

Tamsulosin is not normally recommended during pregnancy. If your baby is healthy, it is ok to take tamsulosin while breastfeeding. Always speak to your doctor before starting any new drug treatments.

Should I avoid any particular food or drink when taking tamsulosin?

You can eat and drink normally when taking tamsulosin.

What lifestyle changes can I make to help me with urinary retention?

You may modify your lifestyle in a number of ways. This may have a positive impact on your condition.

  • Practice Kegel exercises to improve your bladder control
  • Stay well hydrated to maintain a healthy urinary function
  • Avoid caffeine, alcohol, and spicy foods
  • Urinate when you feel the urge to
  • When urinating, wait once you have finished for a few moments, and then try again to make sure the bladder is emptied completely

Alternatives to tamsulosin

Alternatives for the treatment of urinary retention include alfuzosin, prazosin, doxazosin, or terazosin.

Medical Disclaimer

NowPatient has taken all reasonable steps to ensure that all material is factually accurate, complete, and current. However, the knowledge and experience of a qualified healthcare professional should always be sought after instead of using the information in this page. Before taking any drug, you should always speak to your doctor or another qualified healthcare provider.

The information provided here about medications is subject to change and is not meant to include all uses, precautions, warnings, directions, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or negative effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a particular medication does not imply that the medication or medication combination is appropriate for all patients or for all possible purposes.

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