The Independent Pharmacy

Tamsulosin Dosage and Administration

Scott McDougall
Scott McDougallMPharmDirector & Registered Manager

Reviewed on 30 Oct 2023

Tamsulosin is a pill often given to treat symptoms of an enlarged prostate, a condition also called benign prostate enlargement (BPH). We understand that every individual's health journey is unique. When speaking with your GP, it's essential to share your medical history, any medical conditions you might have, or other medications you're on. This helps your doctor tailor the treatment to your specific needs and ensures your safety. To make sure that your treatment is safe and effective, you need to listen to your doctor's instructions.

Those who are starting their tamsulosin treatment are most often prescribed 0.4 mg to be taken once a day. To make the most of your treatment, take it 30 minutes after the same meal every day. However, the doctor might adjust your dose if there's no improvement in your condition.

Taking Tamsulosin the right way can help with issues like a weak urine stream, feeling the need to pee urgently, leaking urine, and having to pee often at night. Taking the correct dose helps relax the muscles around the prostate and bladder neck, improving urine flow rates and reducing BPH symptoms. However, incorrect dosing can lead to potentially serious side effects.

Starting Dosage

The recommended starting dosage of tamsulosin for BPH treatment is 0.4 mg taken once daily, approximately 30 minutes after eating the same meal each day.

Older individuals should be careful as they might be more prone to side effects like feeling dizzy or fainting.

Taking tamsulosin with food helps avoid side effects like dizziness or lightheadedness caused by a sudden drop in blood pressure. It's also best to take this medication at the same time each day to maintain consistent blood levels for optimal therapeutic effect.

Dosage Adjustments

The standard daily dose of tamsulosin is 0.4 mg taken once per day. Remember, everyone's body responds differently to medications. If the current dose isn't working for you, your doctor is there to help and might adjust it to better suit your needs.

If after 2-4 weeks your BPH symptoms like a weak stream of urine are not getting better with the 0.4 mg dose, your doctor might have you increase the amount to 0.8 mg once daily. Do not increase or decrease how much you take unless your doctor specifically tells you to.

Some signs that your tamsulosin dose might need changing include:

  • Your BPH symptoms are not getting better
  • You are having bad side effects like dizziness with your current dose
  • You're holding more urine than before (also called urinary retention) or there are changes in how your kidneys work
  • You are now taking other medications that interact with tamsulosin

For men already taking 0.4 mg daily, increasing to 0.8 mg once per day could further improve BPH symptoms. But higher doses also raise the chance of side effects of tamsulosin like low blood pressure upon standing or ejaculation problems.

How to Take Tamsulosin

To get the most benefit from your tamsulosin treatment, it is important to take it correctly:

  1. Take tamsulosin once daily, approximately 30 minutes after the same meal each day. Taking it after eating helps prevent dizziness or fainting from a sudden drop in blood pressure.
  2. Swallow the capsule whole with a full glass of water. Do not crush, break, or chew the capsule.
  3. Do not stop taking tamsulosin without your doctor's approval, even if you feel better. Stopping suddenly may cause your BPH symptoms to come back or worsen.
  4. If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. But if it is close to the time for your next scheduled dose, skip the missed dose and resume your normal schedule. Do not take two doses at once.
  5. Store tamsulosin capsules at room temperature away from excess heat, moisture, and direct sunlight. Keep this medication out of reach of children.

Properly administering your tamsulosin as prescribed is important to maintain adequate medication levels and maximise relief of urinary tract symptoms.

What Should I Do if I Miss a Dose?

Missing an occasional dose of tamsulosin is not cause for alarm. Follow these steps if you forget to take your scheduled dose:

  1. Take the missed dose as soon as you remember unless it is almost time for your next scheduled dose.
  2. Do not double your dose to make up for the missed one. Only take your normally prescribed amount.
  3. If you frequently forget doses, set a daily reminder to take your tamsulosin. You can use reminders on your phone, programmable pillboxes, or other tools to prevent missed doses.
  4. Keep extra capsules handy for occasions when you are away from your normal supply. Carry a few doses with you when travelling or staying overnight.
  5. Refill your prescription before you run out completely. That way, you will have a continual supply available.

Following these tips can help minimise missed tamsulosin doses. But talk to your doctor if you frequently forget to take your medication as prescribed. They may recommend dosage or medication changes to suit your routine.

What if I Take too Much Tamsulosin?

Taking more than the prescribed amount of tamsulosin can increase your potential risk of serious side effects. Seek emergency care if you think you've taken an overdose.

Signs of a potential tamsulosin overdose include:

  • Severe dizziness, lightheadedness, or fainting
  • Blurred vision or decreased eyesight
  • Chest pain, shortness of breath
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Weakness or numbness on one side of the body
  • Confusion, slurred speech
  • Severe headache, seizures

If you experience these overdose symptoms:

  • Call 999 or emergency medical services right away. An overdose can be fatal without swift treatment.
  • Do not drive yourself to the hospital. Have someone else take you or call an ambulance.
  • Bring the tamsulosin medicine bottle with you to provide details to the doctor.
  • Lie down and raise your feet to prevent fainting while waiting for help.
  • Follow any instructions from poison control if you called them.

We understand that mistakes can happen, and sometimes people might take more than intended. Please be careful and take tamsulosin only as directed. Your safety and well-being are our top priority. Prompt medical care is vital if you suspect an overdose.

Duration and Consistency of Tamsulosin Treatment

When starting tamsulosin treatment for enlarged prostate (BPH) symptoms, it’s important to know this is intended as a long-term medication protocol. You’ll likely need to take it for months or even years to maintain urinary symptom relief, not just a short period.

Consistency is key. Don’t stop taking your daily tamsulosin dose without your doctor's approval. Suddenly stopping can cause symptoms like reduced flow of urine, urgent urination, and frequent nighttime bathroom trips to return or worsen again. Tamsulosin works by relaxing the muscles around the prostate and bladder neck over time to keep urine flowing smoothly. Discontinuing it abruptly can reverse these benefits.

To promote consistency, set phone alerts for each scheduled dose time. Mark your dosage schedule on a calendar too. Prioritise refilling your tamsulosin prescription on time so you don’t run out. If you’re having difficulty adhering to the regimen, tell your doctor - they may be able to adjust the timing or dosage to fit your routine better. But taking this BPH medication properly every single day is what will provide the most relief of your urinary symptoms in the long run.

Getting the Most From Your Treatment

Follow these tips to get the maximum benefits from your tamsulosin treatment:

  • Take the medication at the same time each day to maintain consistent levels in your body.
  • Do not increase, decrease, or stop taking tamsulosin without a doctor's approval.
  • Report any worrisome side effects to your doctor right away. Dosage adjustments may be needed.
  • Stay well hydrated by drinking plenty of water each day. This will support healthy urinary function.
  • Adopt healthy habits like exercising, limiting caffeine and alcohol, and quitting smoking. This supports prostate health.
  • Keep all follow-up appointments with your healthcare provider. Regular checkups ensure optimal treatment.
  • Do not start any new medications, even over-the-counter ones, without checking with your doctor first.

Safety Precautions

To use tamsulosin safely:

  • Take the medication only as prescribed by your doctor. Increasing dosage without medical supervision could lead to severe side effects.
  • Be aware that higher doses increase the risks of low blood pressure, fainting, and ejaculation problems.
  • Avoid becoming dehydrated or overheated. This medication can exacerbate dizziness and lightheadedness.
  • Use caution when engaging in tasks requiring alertness, such as driving, until you know how tamsulosin affects you. Dizziness is a potential side effect.
  • Limit consumption of alcohol, which can add to drowsiness and low blood pressure.
  • Check with your doctor before combining tamsulosin with any other supplements. Dangerous interactions are possible.
  • Protect tamsulosin from heat, light, and moisture to prevent the capsules from degrading.

Following the doctor's instructions, knowing the risks, and being careful can help you use Tamsulosin safely and effectively. Let your doctor know if any worrisome symptoms develop.

Your Next Steps

We know managing a medication can be a daily commitment. Please try to take tamsulosin consistently, refill your prescription on time, and maintain a healthy lifestyle. Always reach out if you have concerns - we're here to support you.

The Independent Pharmacy has your back. As an experienced online pharmacy, we specialise in providing exceptional customer service and fast delivery of prescription drugs like tamsulosin.

Our pharmacists understand how important it is to take medications like this properly. If you ever need help adjusting your tamsulosin dosage, managing side effects, or just want advice from a medical professional you can trust, contact The Independent Pharmacy.

Call 0333 2200 519 or email [email protected] - we’re always ready to assist!

FAQs on Dosage and Administration

Why do you have to wait 30 minutes after eating to take tamsulosin?

Taking tamsulosin with food helps prevent dizziness or fainting caused by a sudden drop in blood pressure. Waiting approximately 30 minutes allows enough time for food to start digesting and circulating before the drug is absorbed into your system.

Why is tamsulosin taken at night?

Some doctors recommend taking tamsulosin before bed to minimise side effects like dizziness or drowsiness during your waking hours. However, you can take it at any time of day as long as it's consistently around the same time.

How long after eating should I take tamsulosin?

Tamsulosin should be taken around 30 minutes after the same meal every day. You don't need to wait a full hour or more. The key is consistency from day to day.

What happens if you take tamsulosin on an empty stomach?

Taking tamsulosin without food increases the risk of lightheadedness, dizziness or fainting due to a sudden drop in blood pressure. Always take it after a meal as prescribed.

What not to do when taking tamsulosin?

Do not crush, break, or chew the capsule. Avoid alcohol and operating heavy machinery until you know the side effects. Do not increase your dosage without medical approval.

Resources:

Benign prostate enlargement - NHS (www.nhs.uk)

How and when to take tamsulosin - NHS (www.nhs.uk)

Tamsulosin Dosage Guide + Max Dose, Adjustments - Drugs.com

Poisoning - Treatment - NHS (www.nhs.uk)

Related Guides

Need something else?

We stock 1050 treatments for 90 conditions

Or browse all treatments or conditions

A customer at the pharmacist looking for medication