Tamsulosin is a drug prescribed to relieve symptoms of an enlarged prostate. It works by relaxing the muscles of the prostate and bladder. However, it cannot cure or shrink an enlarged prostate. Tamsulosin comes in capsule form and should be taken at the same time each day. Potential side effects include abnormal ejaculation, a runny or stuffy nose, and dizziness.
Brand-name Flomax is manufactured by Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Generic versions are made by various manufacturers.
How Does Tamsulosin Work?
Tamsulosin is part of a class of drugs known as alpha blockers. It works by blocking alpha-1 receptors. Alpha-1 receptors are found in several places in the body, including the prostate gland.
For the treatment of BPH, blocking alpha-1 receptors helps to relax the muscles of the prostate and the bladder neck (where urine leaves the bladder). Tamsulosin does not shrink the prostate, as some other BPH medications do. However, by relaxing the muscles of the prostate and bladder, it helps to quickly relieve BPH symptoms. While the medication can help with symptoms, it is not a cure for BPH.
Impax Laboratories, Inc. Impax Laboratories settles pending litigation for FLOMAX(R) (10/7/2009). Impax Web site. Available at: http://phx.corporate-ir.net/phoenix.zhtml?c=67240&p=irol-newsArticle&ID=1339467&highlight=. Accessed November 6, 2009.
Food and Drug Administration, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. Electronic orange book: approved drug products with therapeutic equivalence evaluations. FDA Web site. Available at: http://www.fda.gov/cder/ob/. Accessed May 14, 2010.
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