Tamsulosin, best known under the brand name Flomax, is commonly used to treat non-cancerous prostate conditions such as BPH and prostatitisIn fact, since hitting the market in 1996, Flomax has become the most popular form of treatment for enlarged prostates. Additionally, it is sometimes used to help with the passage kidney stones. 

However, recent studies have shown that those taking tamsulosin may be at greater risk of developing dementia. 

While the initial results aren’t entirely conclusive, there is enough correlation to cause concern. Tamsulosin is currently being prescribed to about 12.6 million patients around the worldmost of whom are dealing with symptoms relating to BPH. Over 70% of men in their 60s have BPH symptoms. Meanwhile, those over 65 already face the greatest risk of developing dementia.  

With tamsulosin added into the mix, the odds of developing dementia could increase further. 

The Effects of Tamsulosin 

Tamsulosin is an alpha blocker that relaxes the muscles in the bladder and prostate, relieving discomfort stemming from conditions such as BPH while improving urine flow. Tamsulosin has proven largely successful for many men, with side effects usually being minimal. General side effects have included dizziness, fatigue, headaches, and potential ejaculation problems.  

At this point, it isn’t currently clear how or why tamsulosin would increase the chances of someone developing dementia. While current evidence shows a strong correlation between tamsulosin and dementia, further studies are needed to learn more. In the meantime, it is in the best interest of most men to avoid Flomax and other generic versions of tamsulosin, especially if they have a history of dementia in their family. 

Alternatives to Tamsulosin 

Tamsulosin isn’t the only medication used to treat prostate conditions. While other medications may not come with an increased risk of dementia, virtually all medications have some form of ongoing side effectsFor those looking for a safer, more permanent solution to prostate issues, a simple surgical procedure is well worth consideration. 

For those with BPH, UroLift® is a minimally invasive treatment that doesn’t require any cutting, heating, or removal of prostate tissue. 

The best way to properly diagnose your condition and learn about the treatment options available is to visit a urologist. As specialists in the urinary tract system and male reproductive organs, urologists are best equipped to provide a quick, accurate diagnosis. They’re also able to perform surgery, giving you direct access to the full spectrum of treatment options. 

For urologist in the Dayton, Ohio area, contact Urology Specialists of Ohio today!