What is Tamsulosin Used for?

"Metallic Pills" is Copyrighted by Flickr user: sonictk (Siew Yi Liang) under the Creative Commons Attribution license.

Tamsulosin is a prescription medicine used to treat the medical condition known as benign prostatic hyperplasia (more commonly referred to as enlarged prostate), which affects males. The medication is classified as being an alpha-adrenergic blocker, and it operates by enabling the arteries and veins to relax and loosen up, which results in blood passing through them easier. Tamsulosin also allows the muscles of the bladder neck and prostate to relax, which makes urination much easier.

"Metallic Pills" is Copyrighted by Flickr user: sonictk (Siew Yi Liang) under the Creative Commons Attribution license.

Primary Use

As stated before, the primary use of Tamsulosin is to treat the signs of benign enlarged prostate. This is a medical condition that frequently occurs to elderly males. The prostate gland is situated just underneath of the bladder. When the prostate gland increases in size, some of the muscles of the gland might tighten and therefore disrupt the tube that is responsible for draining out the bladder's urine. This situation results in difficulties with urination, including frequent urination, a small stream for urination, or feeling unable to completely empty out the bladder with urination.


Tamsulosin functions by loosening up the muscles of both the bladder's opening as well as the prostate. This assists in raising urine's flow or reducing the uncomfortable symptoms (like feeling unable to empty out the bladder). However, despite Tamsulosin being used to ease these symptoms, it is unable to reduce the size of the prostate, and therefore, it will continue to get larger with time, which will in turn intensify the problems. Because of this factor, in the future, surgery might become necessary.


Tamsulosin is administered orally. It must be taken exactly how it was prescribed by the physician. Every dose of Tamsulosin needs to be taken alongside a glass of water. The capsule must be swallowed whole (it should not be chewed, opened, or crushed). It is taken once a day, often about half an hour after a meal. It should be taken at approximately the same time on a daily basis.

Side Effects

Tamsulosin can cause some side effects to occur. Some minor side effects of the medication are sleeplessness, mild drowsiness or dizziness, stuffy or runny nose, sore throat, reduced sex drive, and problems with ejaculation. Severe side effects of the medicine include extreme dizziness, passing out, and erection that lasts for more than 4 hours at a time, or is painful. Serious allergic reactions also can happen with Tamsulosin. Signs of serious allergic reaction are swelling, trouble breathing, and breaking out into hives. If you experience any serious side effects or allergic reactions due to Tamsulosin, you must seek emergency medical help as soon as possible.


You must always take your recommended dosage of this medication. However, if you are worried that you might have overdosed on Tamsulosin, you need to get emergency medical assistance as soon as possible. Overdosing on this medication could lead to serious consequences. Some symptoms of Tamsulosin overdose include clammy or cold skin, rapid heartbeat, lightheadedness, extreme headache, and passing out.

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