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Tamsulosin Side Effects: common, rare and management

What is Tamsulosin?

Tamsulosin is a drug used in adult men with benign prostate hyperplasia (prostatic enlargement) as it improves the signs and symptoms of the medical condition.

0.4mg of Tamsulosin is taken once daily, 30 minutes after meal. For some patients, this dose may not be adequate to give them optimal response.

Theses group of patients who may not get optimal response with 0.4mg daily dosing of Tamsulosin will need an increase in the dosage to 0.8mg to get optimal response.

In addition to Tamsulosin use in the treatment of prostate enlargement (benign prostatic hyperplasia), it is equally used to relieve the symptoms of bladder outlet obstruction and to facilitate kidney stones expulsion. These are its off label uses by the way.

Side effects of Tamsulosin

We will classify the side effects of Tamsulosin capsules into common, and less common.

Common side effects of Tamsulosin are those that occur in more than 1 patient in every 100 patients who are taking it.

Less common side effects of Tamsulosin are those that less than 10 percent of patients who are taking it experience.

A. Common side effects

1. Headache

An average of 20% of patients on Tamsulosin experience headache. The severity of it varies among individuals.

Please note that side effects of Tamsulosin tends to get better over time as your body adjust to the drug.

If the headache is severe, your doctor may recommend that you take paracetamol.

2. Orthostatic hypotension

Orthostatic hypotension is a condition where there is a drop in blood pressure to a low level when standing up after sitting or lying down.

This happens within 2 to 5 minutes of standing.

An average of 12.5% of patients who are taking Tamsulosin experience this. Orthostatic hypotension can cause lightheadedness, dizziness, and possibly fainting.

If you are just placed on Tamsulosin and as a result, wouldn’t know if you would be experiencing orthostatic hypotension; or if you’re already taking Tamsulosin and you do experience orthostatic hypotension, you are encouraged to change from supine or sitting to standing slowly.

Doing so will decrease your chances of you experiencing orthostatic hypotension or falling as a result of it.

3. Rhinitis

Inflammation of the mucous membrane of the nose is called rhinitis. This is often caused by a viral infection as seen in common cold.

An average of 16.5% of patients who take Tamsulosin develop rhinitis as one of its side effects.

If this is severe and discomforting, your doctor may place you on an antihistamine drug to help relieve the symptoms.

4. Abnormal ejaculation

An average of 13% of patients who are taking Tamsulosin experience abnormal ejaculation as they ejaculate little or no semen.

If you experience this while on Tamsulosin, know that it is normal side effect of your medication.

Please seek medical advice from your doctor or pharmacist if this particular side effect of Tamsulosin is affecting you negatively or if it lasts more than a few days

5. Dizziness

Feeling dizzy is one of the common side effects of Tamsulosin. An average of 16% of patients on this medication experience this.

Remember that orthostatic hypotension is also a side effect of Tamsulosin and this orthostatic hypotension on its own causes dizziness.

If you are severely dizzy, always stand slowly so that you don’t fall.

6. Arthralgia (joint pain)

About 11% of patients on Tamsulosin experience joint pain as it is one of the side effects of the drug.

If this is affecting your movement, please talk to your doctor about it. He may add a pain killer to help with the pain.

7. Infection

An average of 10% of patients on Tamsulosin get infection. This is suggestive that Tamsulosin affects the immune system.

To reduce the chances of this side effect from occuring, you may be placed on an immune boosting supplement especially if your immunity is suspected to be low.

B. Less common side effects of Tamsulosin

The following are less common side effects associated with Tamsulosin use:

  1. Diarrhea
  2. Muscle pain
  3. Chest pain
  4. Cough
  5. Sinusitis
  6. Abdominal discomfort
  7. Decrease in libido
  8. Insomnia
  9. Asthenia
  10. Back pain
  11. Skin rash
  12. Pharyngitis
  13. Dry mouth

How to manage Tamsulosin side effects


Just like every other medication, Tamsulosin has got undesired effects associated with its use.

Some side effects of Tamsulosin are common such that that most persons who take it would likely experience them.

Some are less common such that only few patients using the drug would experience them.

Some patients can experience serious side effects as a result of Tamsulosin which would require that they see a doctor immediately.

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