Flomax, a brand name version of the drug tamsulosin, is a medication used in the treatment of an enlarged prostate. Flomax is meant to combat symptoms like trouble urinating, pain during urination, and other issues related to benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). However, Flomax can bring about a number of side effects ranging from the mild to the severe, including drowsiness, blurry vision, coughing, fever, complications with sleep, and chest pain.
Flomax capsules are available by prescription only for men who have enlarged prostate, or BPH. According to the National Institutes of Health, more than half of men over 60 experience complications from an enlarged prostate. Sometimes, treatment for an enlarged prostate can be limited to lifestyle modifications like not drinking before bed and limiting intake of alcohol and caffeine, along with regular medical exams. In other cases, medication may be appropriate. Drugs called alpha blockers can help to combat urinary complications of an enlarged prostate. One such alpha blocker is tamsulosin, or the brand name version Flomax.
According to the Mayo Clinic, the most common side effects of Flomax include a fever, chills, and a cough or sore throat. These may be accompanied by pain in the back and sides and occasionally chest pain. Flomax side effects can also include drowsiness, dizziness, and blurred vision, so driving should be avoided when first using the drug. Other common Flomax side effects include headache, nasal congestion, and nausea or diarrhea. Alert your doctor if you experience any prolonged side effects after taking Flomax.
Various more serious side effects may also occur which may require medical attention. These include swelling, skin rashes, hives, and itching and can be related to an allergic reaction. An allergic response to tamsulosin should be treated quickly to prevent a severe reaction. Other severe side effects of Flomax or tamsulosin can include a painful and prolonged erection that, left untreated, can cause damage and permanent erectile dysfunction.
Another Flomax side effect can involve issues in other medical treatments. U.S. News & World Report has reported that taking Flomax can significantly increase the risk of complications involved in cataract surgery. The study by the American Medical Association found that the risk of a complication in cataract surgery more than doubles when the patient is taking Flomax.
The side effects of Flomax (tamsulosin) range can include a cough, runny nose, and drowsiness, among other issues. Some side effects may occur for as long as the medication is used, though others will cease as the body becomes accustomed to it. Talk to your doctor if you experience any side effects of Flomax, particularly if they are persistent.
Prostate Enlargement: Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. National Institutes of Health.
Study Reiterates Eye Risks Linked to Flomax. U.S. News & World Report.
Tamsulosin (Oral Route). Mayo Clinic.