Tamsulosin is used to relieve the symptoms of urinary retention caused by an enlarged prostate. This condition, also known as benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), is a relatively common ailment among men, particularly those who are older.
An enlarged prostate often blocks the flow of urine, causing several renal difficulties. Difficulties include; the need to pass urine urgently, a higher frequency of urination, a wait before urine starts to flow, a weak or dribbling flow of urine, and the inability to empty the bladder when passing urine.
The active ingredient in this medication is tamsulosin hydrochloride. This ingredient relaxes the muscles around the prostate. In turn, urine can flow freely and without pain.
To understand how Tamsulosin works, first you need to understand why an enlarged prostate causes urinary retention.
The prostate gland sits at the top of the tube that connects the bladder to the urethra. This gland often enlarges as a man gets older, which is perfectly normal. However, if the gland gets too big, it blocks the flow of urine from the bladder.
The active ingredient in these capsules, Tamsulosin, is an alpha-blocker. The muscle within the prostate has several alpha receptors. This medication intercepts the messages to the muscle and consequently makes it relax.
In turn, this relieves the pressure on the urethra, eliminating the blockage and allowing urine to flow past the prostate gland. This makes it much easier to empty the bladder.
It may take up to four weeks for symptoms of BPH and urinary retention to improve. However, as this is a chronic condition, you will likely have to continue treatment on a long-term basis.
You should consult your doctor if your condition does not improve within four weeks of using this treatment, or if it becomes worse.
Tamsulosin is available in capsule form, as a dosage of 400mcg. These capsules come in blister packs of a variety of sizes.
Typically, you will be required to take one capsule of Tamsulosin daily. However, the frequency of doses may be altered according to your medical condition and your doctor's preferred course of treatment.
Always take medication as recommended by your doctor or pharmacist.
The following is a summary of how to take Tamsulosin capsules:
Please note, the first dose of Tamsulosin can cause a sudden drop in your blood pressure. This may result in dizziness, feeling faint or intense sweating. Therefore, it is best to take your first dose before bed. Stay lying down until any symptoms have passed.
Medication affects people differently, and it is possible to take this medicine without experiencing any side effects at all.
The most common side effect of Tamsulosin is dizziness. This can affect your ability to drive, so exercise caution and ensure that your reactions are normal before doing so. Also, be careful when using tools or heavy machinery.
You are most at risk of experiencing dizziness when you first start taking Tamsulosin, increase the dose or restart the treatment.
You may also experience ejaculation problems when using this medicine, including retrograde ejaculation. This is when semen goes into the bladder rather than exiting via the penis. You may also notice the volume of fluid you ejaculate is smaller or completely absent. Do not worry as neither of these are a cause for concern.
Other common side effects of Tamsulosin include:
In rare cases, you may experience some more serious side effects. If you do, consult your doctor immediately.
Before you take Tamsulosin, inform your doctor or pharmacist about any allergies you have. You should also inform them if you have ever experienced low blood pressure, eye problems (cataracts and glaucoma) or issues with your liver or kidneys.
As a precaution, limit the amount of alcohol and caffeine you consume while using this medicine. The first can inhibit the effectiveness of the Tamsulosin, and the latter can exacerbate your symptoms.
You should also avoid smoking while taking this medication as it may exacerbate your symptoms and put you at greater risk of side effects.
Ask your doctor or pharmacist for advice before taking Tamsulosin in combination with any other medications (including over-the-counter medicines and herbal remedies).
This is especially important if you are using any of the following:
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