Flomax, scientifically known as tamsulosin hydrochloride, is a medication that is used to treat the symptoms of enlarged prostate or Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH). BPH is an ailment related to the prostate gland, an important gland in the male reproductive system that surrounds the urethra. This condition is more commonly seen in older men between 50 to 60 years of age. The gland starts growing in men as they reach puberty, and since then it continues to grow throughout their adulthood. However, as men reach their fifties and sixties, due to this continued growth, the gland enlarges and squeezes the urethra which intervenes with the flow of urine. This may further result in other ailments like urine dribbling, pain, and burning sensation while urinating, urine retention, incontinence, etc.
Flomax, when used to treat enlarged prostate, functions by blocking the alpha-adrenergic receptors in the smooth muscles of the gland, which relaxes the muscles. Hence, flomax basically doesn't shrink the enlarged prostate gland, rather it improves the urine flow, and decreases the severity of other BPH symptoms. However, like all medication, flomax is also known to cause some adverse side effects.
Side Effects of Flomax
The side effects can either be mild or severe, depending on the age and overall health of the patient. Hence, before consuming this medication, it is essential to know what they are, and how severe they can be.
Research shows that patients taking flomax experience certain common side effects that are mentioned below:
- Back pain
- Chest pain
- Overall body pain
- Strep throat and stuffy nose
- Upset stomach
- Blurred vision and vertigo
Most of the above-mentioned symptoms arise as the drug tends to lower the blood pressure of the patient. Hence, the patient should avoid high-energy activities like running, driving, and jumping after taking this medication. Since these side effects are generic, they could be a result of other illnesses like common cold, or viral fever. Hence, it is important to consult a doctor for proper diagnosis.
Some patients may suffer from severe side effects that might require immediate attention and medical assistance. Such symptoms are listed below.
- Abnormal ejaculation: Under this condition, the person is unable to ejaculate, or has reduced ejaculation.
- Retrograde ejaculation: It is a condition wherein, the ejaculate enters the bladder instead of ejecting from the penis.
- Priapism: It is a condition wherein, the penis tends to be erect in the absence of any sexual stimulus. It is usually a painful medical condition in which the penis does not return to its flaccid state within 4 hours.
- Sexual problems: It has been reported that men using flomax have had reduced sexual capacity and performance. Reduced sexual desires is another associated problem.
- Cataract complications: Flomax have been known to complicate surgeries and other treatment methods for cataract removal. Hence, it is important for men, taking this drug, to inform their doctors about this, and any other medication or herbal products that they may be using.
To conclude, we can say, if you are taking flomax, and notice any of the aforementioned side effects, do not delay in contacting your doctor to elucidate the case, and prevent the long-term ill effects. Also, it is recommended to consult your doctor prior to taking the medication, and never exceed its prescribed dosage.