Drugs Q & A

Can You Take Tamsulosin and Alcohol?

Tamsulosin is used in men to treat the symptoms of an enlarged prostate (benign prostatic hyperplasia or BPH) which includes difficulty urinating (hesitation, dribbling, weak stream, and incomplete bladder emptying), painful urination, and urinary frequency and urgency.

Tamsulosin is in a class of medications called alpha blockers. It works by relaxing the muscles in the prostate and bladder so that urine can flow easily.

How should Tamsulosin be used?

Tamsulosin comes as a capsule to take by mouth. It is usually taken once a day. Take tamsulosin 30 minutes after the same meal each day. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take tamsulosin exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor.

Swallow tamsulosin capsules whole; do not split, chew, crush, or open them. Your doctor will probably start you on a low dose of tamsulosin and may increase your dose after 2 to 4 weeks.

Tamsulosin may help control your condition, but it will not cure it. Continue to take tamsulosin even if you feel well. Do not stop taking tamsulosin without talking to your doctor.

Why is tamsulosin taken at night?

Tamsulosin is taken at night at bedtime to minimize the chances of getting dizzy or fainting. After the first dose, take your regularly scheduled dose 30 minutes after the same meal each day.

What should I do if I forget a dose?

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember it. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one. If you interrupt your treatment for several days or longer, call your doctor before restarting the medication, especially if you take more than one capsule of tamsulosin a day.

Can You Take Tamsulosin and Alcohol?

Generally, you can drink alcohol while taking tamsulosin. However, during the first few days of taking tamsulosin, it’s best not to drink alcohol. Alcohol can increase the blood pressure-lowering effect and this can make you feel dizzy or lightheaded.

What side effects can this medication cause?

Tamsulosin may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:

•          sleepiness

•          difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep

•          weakness

•          back pain

•          diarrhea

•          runny or stuffy nose

•          pain or pressure in the face

•          sore throat, cough, fever, chills, or other signs of infection

•          blurred vision

•          difficulty ejaculating

Some side effects can be serious. If you experience any of the following symptoms, call your doctor immediately:

•          painful erection of the penis that lasts for hours

•          rash

•          itching

•          hives

•          swelling of the eyes, face, tongue, lips, throat, arms, hands, feet, ankles, or lower legs

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