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Flomax for females: The effectiveness of tamsulosin in treating women with voiding difficulty


The effectiveness of tamsulosin in treating women with voiding difficulty


To prospectively evaluate the effectiveness of tamsulosin in treating women with voiding difficulty.


Female patients presenting chronic, bothersome voiding symptoms, combined with subnormal uroflow were treated with 0.2 mg tamsulosin daily for six weeks. Outcome analyses included the International Prostate Symptom Score and uroflowmetry with post-void residual urine. Patients achieving a 50% or greater reduction in their voiding symptom score, combined with a 30% or greater increment in their maximal flow rate were regarded as having a good therapeutic response. Subgroup analysis was performed in patients classified as having bladder outlet obstruction, or detrusor underactivity based on pressure-flow study, excluding those with indwelling catheterization or intermittent self-catheterization as well as those with anatomic obstruction.


Ninety-seven patients met the study inclusion criteria and were enrolled. Significant improvements in voiding symptom score, storage symptom score, maximal flow rate, post-void residual urine and voiding efficiency were observed in all patients while on tamsulosin. A good therapeutic response was observed in 35.1% of patients. Of these, 33 were classified as having bladder outlet obstruction and 52 had detrusor underactivity. Although both groups experienced significant reduction in their voiding symptom scores, patients with bladder outlet obstruction were more likely to achieve a reduction of their voiding symptom score. The magnitude of improvement in uroflow parameters as well as the proportion of patients achieving a good therapeutic response (39.4% for bladder outlet obstruction vs 32.7% for detrusor underactivity, P = 0.69) were similar between the two groups. Adverse events were mild and tolerable.


Tamsulosin has beneficial effects in a significant proportion of women with voiding difficulty.

Flomax for Women | Flomax Side Effects

Although commonly considered an alpha-blocker medication prescribed to men battling benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), Flomax can also be prescribed for women experiencing bladder blockages or obstruction to help them urinate more easily.

BPH is a condition that affects about 50 percent of men between the ages of 51 and 60 and up to 90 percent of men older than 80.

It occurs when the prostate, expands to twice or even three times its regular size.

The growing prostate gland gradually presses against the urethra, restricting urinary flow and resulting in urinary problems.

While Flomax has long been the mainstay of treatment for men with BPH and lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS), little research has investigated the use of alpha-blockers in women.

This article will discuss the effectiveness of using Flomax for women.

What Is Flomax Used For?

As discussed, Flomax is generally used to relieve urinary symptoms associated with BPH. Doctors may also prescribe tamsulosin to help the body clear or pass kidney stones.

Flomax works by paralyzing the muscles around your urethra and your bladder sphincter. The sphincter muscles enable you to hold in your urine until you can get to a toilet.

However, although it helps to ease urination, it does not affect your prostate health whatsoever.

You may experience short-term relief of urinary symptoms, but it does not address the underlying cause.

A 2003 Cochrane systematic review looked at the effects of Tamsulosin for BPH. The analysis involved 14 studies, ranging between 1 to 6 months long.

Although the participants reported improvements in symptoms, it was also found that men reported dizziness, rhinitis, and abnormal ejaculation compared to the placebo group.

The authors of this review suggested a need for more extended studies looking at the long term effects was required.

A further known side effect of Flomax is hypotension. A study in the BMJ (October 26, 2015) revealed that alpha-blockers, such as Flomax, can increase the risk of falls. The study found a 15-16% increased risk for fractures and head trauma during the first three months of taking such medications.

Flomax is also used as a treatment for kidney stones. Kidney stones form as a buildup of various compounds that become sedimented in the upper urinary tract.

They often go unnoticed as they do not grow big enough and can be eliminated without causing any significant symptoms.

Flomax is known to relax the smooth muscle in the urinary tract. It may also reduce the effect of entrapment that often leads to urinary obstruction in cases of kidney stones.

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Flomax Warnings

Does Flomax have side effects?

The problem with the prescription medication is that it has side effects and like other drugs do. Here is a list of some of the long list of adverse effects from Flomax:

Pregnancy and Flomax

The FDA does not approve the use of Flomax for women, but Tamsulosin is sometimes prescribed off-label to women for the treatment of an overactive bladder, voiding in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) and urinary retention.

Similar to the way it works for BPH, Tamsulosin is effective by relaxing the smooth muscle in the urinary tract.

Flomax is listed as a category B medication for pregnancy. This means that the side effects during pregnancy are unknown.

Tamsulosin interactions with

  • Acid-blocking drugs, such as cimetidine
  • Antifungal drugs, such as ketoconazole
  • Medication for erectile dysfunction

Is Flomax Effective?

A review evaluated Tamsulosin for the treatment of lower urinary tract symptoms in women.

All trials showed statistically significant improvement with Tamsulosin in female lower urinary tract symptoms (especially in women with predominant voiding dysfunction) as well as improvements in quality of life and sleep quality.

However, people reported several side effects, including, dizziness and asthenia, stress incontinence and urgency, fatigue, drowsiness, and hypotension.

Tamsulosin has been studied and found helpful for reducing excessive nighttime urination in women.

269 patients completed a voiding diary, a questionnaire on the Medical Outcomes Study (MOS) sleep scale and underwent follow-up evaluation after 4 weeks of treatment (Tamsulosin, 0.2 mg, once daily).

The effectiveness of the treatment was assessed by analysis of the IPSS, the bother score, the Qmax, and postvoid residual urine (PVR).

Nocturia significantly reduces after tamsulosin treatment. Thereby, sleep quality also improves.

Although some studies suggest that Flomax can improve urinary symptoms in women, the majority of evidence suggests that Tamsulosin is moderately effective at best.

We need further long-term studie to evaluate the effectiveness of Flomax for women and the side effects that it can cause.

Meanwhile, extensive studies have reviewed the use of Flomax for men, especially in regard to treating BPH.

A large number of these studies have reported dangerous side effects associated with Flomax including; erectile dysfunction, hypotension, long-term incontinence, and floppy iris syndrome.

Women taking Tamsulosin or considering taking Tamsulosin should be made aware that taking this medication means that symptoms are unlikely to go completely.

It is also essential to bear in mind that Flomax can have significant side effects that can impact the quality of life. There are several natural alpha blockers that work in a similar way to Flomax, such as saw palmetto. and rye flower pollen.


The research into the effectiveness of Flomax for women remains limited. However, people report a number of side, and the FDA has not approved the use of the drug for women. Before taking Tamsulosin, speak with your doctor about the possible side effects.

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Find out 5 Natural Alternatives To Flomax.


Article Name

Flomax for Women – Ben’s Natural Health


Flomax has long been the mainstay of treatment for men with BPH. However, little research has investigated the use of Flomax for women.


Dr Alberto Parra

Publisher Name

Ben’s Natural Health Team

Publisher Logo

Clinical Management of Urinary Incontinence in Women

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Tamsulosin Controlled-Release Tablet – Oral

Pronunciation: tam-SOO-loe-sin

Common Brand Name(s): Flomax CR

Important: How To Use This Information

This is a summary and does NOT have all possible information about this product. This information does not assure that this product is safe, effective, or appropriate for you. This information is not individual medical advice and does not substitute for the advice of your health care professional. Always ask your health care professional for complete information about this product and your specific health needs.


Tamsulosin is used by men to treat the symptoms of an enlarged prostate (benign prostatic hyperplasia-BPH). It does not shrink the prostate, but it works by relaxing the muscles in the prostate and the bladder. This helps to relieve symptoms of BPH such as difficulty in beginning the flow of urine, weak stream, and the need to urinate often or urgently (including during the middle of the night).

Tamsulosin belongs to a class of drugs known as alpha blockers.

Do not use this medication to treat high blood pressure.

Other Uses

This section contains uses of this drug that are not listed in the approved professional labeling for the drug but that may be prescribed by your health care professional. Use this drug for a condition that is listed in this section only if it has been so prescribed by your health care professional.

This drug may also be used to help your body “pass,” or get rid of, kidney stones through urination. It may also be used for bladder problems in women.

How To Use

Read the Patient Information Leaflet provided by your pharmacist before you start taking this medication and each time you get a refill. If you have any questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist.

Take this medication by mouth with or without food as directed by your doctor, usually once daily.

Do not crush or chew this medication. Doing so can release all of the drug at once, increasing the risk of side effects. Also, do not split the tablets unless they have a score line and your doctor or pharmacist tells you to do so. Swallow the whole or split tablet without crushing or chewing.

Tamsulosin may cause a sudden drop in your blood pressure, which could lead to dizziness or fainting. This risk is higher when you first start taking this drug or if you restart treatment after you stop taking it. During these times, avoid situations where you may be injured if you faint.

To avoid injury from dizziness or fainting, your doctor may tell you to take your first dose of tamsulosin at bedtime so that your body can get used to its effects.

Take this medication regularly to get the most benefit from it. To help you remember, take it at the same time each day.

It may take up to 4 weeks before your symptoms improve. Tell your doctor if your condition does not improve or if it worsens.

Side Effects

Dizziness, lightheadedness, or ejaculation problems may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.

To reduce the risk of dizziness and lightheadedness, get up slowly when rising from a sitting or lying position.

Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.

Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including:

Rarely, males may have a painful or prolonged erection lasting 4 or more hours. If this occurs, stop using this drug and get medical help right away, or permanent problems could occur.

A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including:

  • rash
  • itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat)
  • severe dizziness
  • trouble breathing

This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.

In the US –

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or at www.fda.gov/medwatch.

In Canada – Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.


Before taking tamsulosin, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.

Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of:

  • low blood pressure
  • certain eye problems (cataracts, glaucoma)

This drug may make you dizzy. Alcohol or marijuana (cannabis) can make you more dizzy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that needs alertness until you can do it safely. Limit alcoholic beverages. Talk to your doctor if you are using marijuana (cannabis).

Before having surgery (including cataract/glaucoma eye surgery), tell your doctor or dentist if you are taking or have ever taken this medication, and about all the other products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products).

Older adults may be more sensitive to the side effects of this drug, especially dizziness and low blood pressure when getting up from a sitting or lying position. These side effects can increase the risk of falling.

During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when clearly needed. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.

It is unknown if this medication passes into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breastfeeding.

Drug Interactions

Drug interactions may change how your medications work or increase your risk for serious side effects. This document does not contain all possible drug interactions. Keep a list of all the products you use (including prescription/nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicines without your doctor’s approval.

Some products that may interact with this drug include:

  • other alpha blocker drugs (such as prazosin, terazosin)

If you are also taking a drug to treat erectile dysfunction-ED or pulmonary hypertension (such as sildenafil, tadalafil), your blood pressure may get too low which can lead to dizziness or fainting. Your doctor may need to adjust your medications to minimize this risk.

Other medications can affect the removal of tamsulosin from your body, which may affect how tamsulosin works. Examples include azole antifungals (such as itraconazole, ketoconazole), boceprevir, clarithromycin, cobicistat, HIV protease inhibitors (such as lopinavir, ritonavir), ribociclib, among others.


If someone has overdosed and has serious symptoms such as passing out or trouble breathing, call 911. Otherwise, call a poison control center right away. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center. Symptoms of overdose may include: severe dizziness, fainting.


Do not share this medication with others.

Laboratory and/or medical tests (such as prostate exams, blood pressure) should be performed periodically to monitor your progress or check for side effects. Consult your doctor for more details.

Missed Dose

If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose. Take your next dose at the regular time. Do not double the dose to catch up.


Store at room temperature away from light and moisture. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep all medications away from children and pets.

Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company.

Flomax Use In Female

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Flomax® (tamsulosin) for Urinary Issues in Women

6 hours ago Tamsulosin is the most well tolerated, with the most prominent side effect noted being dizziness. In some cases, alpha-blockers lead to worsened stress incontinence, so they may want to be avoided in female patients with stress incontinence. Tamsulosin is also commonly being prescribed for short-term use in women with kidney stones.

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