A healthcare provider may prescribe tamsulosin to treat an enlarged prostate. Tamsulosin works by relaxing the muscles of the prostate and the bladder, relieving the symptoms of an enlarged prostate. There are also some off-label tamsulosin uses, such as treating urinary retention in women and treating urinary problems associated with multiple sclerosis. Tamsulosin is not approved for use in children.
What Is Tamsulosin Used For?Tamsulosin hydrochloride (Flomax®) is a prescription medicine that has been licensed to treat an enlarged prostate.
Understanding BPHThe prostate gland, located below the bladder, is part of the male reproductive system. Importantly, the urethra (the canal that takes urine out of the body) runs through the prostate.
An enlarged prostate (known medically as benign prostatic hyperplasia, benign prostatic hypertrophy, or BPH) is very common among older men. The prostate begins growing during puberty and continues to grow throughout most of adulthood. Usually, this is not a problem until men reach their fifties or sixties. When the prostate becomes too large, it can press against the urethra, causing problems with urination. Specific BPH symptoms may include: frequent urination (which is especially noticeable at night), difficulty fully emptying the bladder when urinating, and other problems.
One of the most common ways to detect an enlarged prostate is by the digital rectal exam. During a digital rectal exam, the doctor inserts a gloved finger into the rectum to feel the size and shape of the prostate. Some men can have a BPH diagnosis without having any symptoms.
Treatment for BPH includes "watchful waiting" (doing nothing, especially if symptoms are not bothersome), medication, and surgery. Tamsulosin is one of the medications for BPH.
(Click Flomax Alternatives for more information about other options for treating BPH.)