Many medical conditions and their treatments contribute to sexual dysfunction. Understanding the potential for drug-induced sexual problems and their negative impact on adherence to treatment will enable the patients to seek alternatives where available. Several classes of prescription drugs contribute to sexual dysfunction in men and women. Patients who develop drug-induced sexual dysfunction are more likely to be non-adherent.
Sexual function consists of the phases of sexual desire, arousal, and orgasm. Both men and women can experience problems in any of these phases. Low desire, lack of swelling and lubrication in women, erectile dysfunction, premature, retrograde, or absent ejaculation, anorgasmia, and painful sex not only affect the individual but also impact on their partner.
What is Tamsulosin (Flomax)?
Flomax is a brand of Tamsulosin a medication 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.
Benign prostatic hyperplasia is the most common prostate problem for men older than age 50. In 2010, as many as 14 million men in the United States had lower urinary tract symptoms suggestive of benign prostatic hyperplasia. Although benign prostatic hyperplasia rarely causes symptoms before age 40, the occurrence and symptoms increase with age. Benign prostatic hyperplasia affects about 50 percent of men between the ages of 51 and 60 and up to 90 percent of men older than 80.
Flomax 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 I take Flomax?
Flomax comes as a capsule to take by mouth. It is usually taken once a day. Take Flomax 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 Flomax exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor.
Swallow the Flomax capsules whole; do not split, chew, crush, or open them.
Your doctor will probably start you on a low dose of Flomax and may increase your dose after 2 to 4 weeks.
Flomax may help control your condition, but it will not cure it. Continue to take Flomax even if you feel well. Do not stop taking Flomax without talking to your doctor.
How will Flomax affect my sexual life?
Studies relating to the impact of Flomax on sex are conflicting. While a 1999 study concluded that Flomax, 0.4 mg once daily, is well tolerated, has no overall negative impact on sexual function, and may even improve sexual function, Recent studies on sexual dysfunction have reported that Flomax exhibited a significantly higher incidence of ejaculatory dysfunction than seen with placebo or other α-receptor blockers. The most common sexual side effects of Flomax include:
- Abnormal ejaculation
- Decreased ease of ejaculation
- Ejaculation of semen into the bladder instead of out of the body
- Failure to ejaculate.
Can Viagra be taken with Flomax?
Taking Viagra with Flomax together can lower your blood pressure and increase the risk of dizziness, lightheadedness, fainting, flushing, headache, and nasal congestion. Talk to your doctor before using the two medications together.
How to cope with Flomax sexual side effects
The lack of libido and other sexual issues in men and women while on Flomax can be a source of embarrassment and conflict in relationships, the good news is that there are several ways you can reduce the impact of Flomax on your sexual function this can include:
Talk to your doctor about your medication: If you do have sexual issues and you think your Flomax prescriptions are to blame, tell your doctor or pharmacist. They may be able to help you make changes that make you feel better. For example, switching to alternative drugs may help you overcome your Flomax-related sex problems.
Exercise: Staying active can help you focus and raise levels of neurotransmitters. That can help you enjoy intimacy more and may make you less likely to engage in risky sexual behaviors.
Tell your partner about your Flomax side effects: Let your partner know how Flomax works and its impact on sex drive. It’s important for your partner to know that it’s not a sign you’re not interested in them.
Consider talk therapy: Research shows that talk therapy, also known as psychotherapy, can help ease Flomax side effects that impact your sex life. A therapist can also help you learn skills that can help you communicate with your partner, both in and out of bed.