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Urology/side effects of Tamsulosin (flomax)


Dear Dr. Leslie:

I have been taking flomax, 0.4 mg daily, for several years for BPH, and have tolerated it well. But for several months,  I am experiencing dizziness and blurred vision. I have consulted a number of Ophthalmologist but they have not been able to find anything  unusual. My blood pressure is within normal limits though I am taking a beta blocker(Pindalol) to control it.

I stopped Tamsulosin for few days and the above symptoms disappeared. I am wondering if this makes any sense, and if I should try some other medicines such proscar, or herbal medicines such as saw palmetto?

Thanks so much,

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Your dizziness and visual problems could be from the tamsulosin.  I would suggest uroxatral (alfuzosin) as an alternative as it has fewer side effects.  There is no evidence that saw palmetto is actually effective in placebo controlled trials.


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Stephen W. Leslie, MD


Questions concerning erectile dysfunction, kidney stones and prostate disorders including prostate cancer. I have a special interest in kidney stone disease prevention.


Full time practicing urologist with 30 years experience. Associate Professor of Surgery and Chief of Urology at Creighton University Medical Center. Editor in Chief of eMedicine Urology internet textbook. Author of only NIH approved book written for patients by a urologist on the subject of kidney stones "The Kidney Stones Handbook". Inventor of the "Parachute" and "Escape" kidney stone baskets and the "Calculus" stone prevention analysis computer program.

American Urological Association, Ohio State Medical Association, Sexual Medicine Society

Men's Health, Journal of Urology, Urology, Healthwatch Magazine, Emergency Medicine Monthly, eMedicine, "The Kidney Stones Handbook", and numerous articles in various newspapers. He is also the editor of the Urology Board Review by McGraw-Hill used by urologists to study for their Board Certification Examinations.

Graduate of New York Medical College with residencies completed at Metropolitan Hospital New York, Albany Medical Center and University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Awards and Honors
Thirlby Award of the American Urological Association. Rated as one the country's Best Urologists by the Independent Consumer's Research Institute

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