If you have an enlarged prostate, you may have come across the drug Flomax (generic name: Tamsulosin). Your Doctor might have prescribed it, having told you that it will relieve your symptoms of BPH. However, a note of warning. While It may seem like the perfect drug if you have an enlarged prostate, a staggering amount of research has highlighted worrying side effects.
This following info will take a closer look at Flomax (Tamsulosin) and to what extent does its harm, rather than improve your prostate health.
In the late 1970s, an α-blocker named phenoxybenzamine demonstrated beneficial effects in treating the symptoms of BPH. However, although it showed benefits, around 30% of users experienced serious side effects. Furthermore, the drug has been identified as a potentially strong carcinoge(Ramirez 2014).
Flomax (also known as Tamsulosin), became available to the market in 1996 and was showcased as a breakthrough drug.
It was revealed to have fewer side effects than phenoxybenzamine, the popular alpha blocker that was originally prescribed for Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH).
Flomax is now the most commonly prescribed drug for men with symptoms of BPH, but how does it actually work?
Alpha blockers work by binding to alpha-adrenergic receptors which prevent the receptor from being stimulated. This prevents the transmission of nerve impulses and causes smooth muscles in the prostate, bladder and arterioles to relax, enabling urine to flow more freely.
If you think Flomax is safe, check out the side effects: dizziness, nasal congestion, rhinitis, rhinorrhoea, sinus congestion, runny nose, headaches, chills, fever, low blood pressure respiratory tract infections, painful urinations, seasonal allergic rhinitis and even drowsiness.
It is highly likely that current research underestimates both the number of these side effects, as well as their seriousness. The research conducted around this drug is kept from the public, providing very little information about the dangerous effects of Flomax. This is just the tip of the iceberg. After this about enlarged prostates there will be alternatives to Flomax.
A pharmacologist revealed in 2014 that over 75% of registered trials for Flomax were hidden, which is a very worrying statistic. Therefore, the true effects that this drug could have on your body remain unknown to the public
A big cause for concern is severe hypotension, which has rarely been reported in clinical trials. Alpha blockers, especially untargeted ones such as tamsulosin, relax the smooth muscles in the heart which leads to low blood pressure.
A cohort study involving 14,784 men that used an alpha blocker from 2003 to 2013, were compared to an equal number of men who decided against the use of alpha blockers, in order to examine whether alpha blockers increased the risk of falling. This is because it has been suggested that hypotension can result in serious falls, fractures or head injuries. The use of alpha blockers increased fall risk by 14% compared to men that did not use alpha-blockers.
If you are going to have cataract surgery, then it is important that you avoid the use of Flomax.
Flomax has been shown to cause complications during cataract surgery and result in floppy eye syndrome (Pärssinen, 2006).
Further studies have also outlined other potential risk of taking the drug. A Cochrane systematic review looked at the effects of Flomax for BPH in 2003. The review involved 14 studies that ranged from 1 to 6 months long. The study participants did report improvements in symptoms. However, they also found 37 adverse side effects and 63% reported some form of side effect.
Side effects that were reported included erectile dysfunction, retrograde ejaculation and reduced libido. In another 4-year study, 27% of participants dropped out due to inadequate improvement in symptoms, while 17% dropped out due to side effects. The most common side effects were dizziness abnormal ejaculation, asthenia, hypotension, erectile dysfunction and headaches.
Evidence suggests that Flomax is moderately effective at best. Patients taking Flomax or considering taking Flomax should be made aware that taking this medication means that symptoms are unlikely to completely go.
The size of the prostate is a determinant on the effectiveness of Flomax. The drug is notably less effective when the prostate is larger. Finally, it should be noted that a clear majority of the research around this drug remains unpublished. As a result, it is likely that available evidence overestimates its overall effectiveness.
Alpha blockers do not improve clinical outcomes of BPH or slow down growth of the prostate, and Flomax is no exception. A 2008 study found that prostate size did not change, and PSA levels increased by 12.1% over two years of Flomax use.
Prostate cancer was reported in 26 men that were receiving Flomax. This is not surprising, with research indicating that BPH may increase prostate cancer risk.
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Based on the research (or lack of it), and the fact that there are other more effective alpha blockers available with fewer side effects, patients may wish to consider avoiding Flomax altogether.
It has also been identified as a carcinogen, as well as linked to macular degeneration in the form of Floppy Iris Syndrome. Overall, the vast majority of industry funded studies on Flomax remain unpublished. Independent studies raise questions about the efficacy and safety of this medication. Its high rate of side effects and low efficacy means patients may wish to consider alternative treatments.
1) A clean plant-based diet with no processed foods, anything that had a face or a mother, eggs, dairy, alcohol or tobacco.
2) Saw palmetto berry herb
French researchers say this well-known herb is a suitable replacement for Flomax plus it decreases 65% of the biomarkers for chronic prostate inflammation. That’s a good amount since the drug only decreased the biomarkers 46%.
Saw palmetto berry also decreased 80% of the genes most frequently expressed for prostate enlargement while the drug came in with a pale 33% reduction.
Patients who had the MIF protein overexpressed because of the disorder showed a higher response to the International Prostate Symptom Score when they took the hexane extract of the herb as well. The scientists stated that their study showed for the first time that saw palmetto has distinct clinical level anti-inflammatory properties for men with prostate enlargement.
This is one of three herbs/foods shown in studies to be just as effective as Flomax in cases of mild to moderate prostate enlargement.
That’s what Italian scientists report in their medical journals.
4) Pygeum africanum
Pygeum herb is just as effective as Flomax, say the experts of various medical reports. Men using the herb were more than twice as likely to report an improvement in overall symptoms.
Getting up to go to urinate in the middle of the night was reduced by 19%. Residual urine volume was decreased by 24% and peak urine flow was increased by 23%.
5) Curcubita pepo
This food is the third food/herb shown in human studies to be as effective as tamsulosin. In one German study, 12 months of treatment of pumpkin seed led to a clinically reduction in symptoms in men with prostate enlargement compared to placebo.
The researchers made the statement that in order to fully justify a recommendation to use the pumpkin seeds in other men, they needed to see similar findings in a larger group of men.
However, the study size that was analyzed was 1431 men. How many more do you need in order to try something natural without side effects?
6) Poncirus trifoliata fruit
This fruit is used in traditional Oriental medicine for different conditions such as swelling, constipation, allergies, and too much acid after eating. The fruit contains flavonoids and coumarins that have already proven to work against allergies, viruses and tumors.
In prostate enlargement, testosterone is often linked with the development and progression of the disorder. The body makes its own 5-alpha-reductase to block the production of testosterone but drugs other than Flomax used for prostate enlargement try to mimic the same thing.
When Korean researchers tested an alcoholic extract of the fruit against the prescription medication, they found that the fruit extract markedly reduced the testosterone levels compared to the other groups. It prevented the progression of enlarged prostate caused by testosterone.
These are only a fraction of the medical journal articles that report that herbs work well for prostate enlargement. They give us all hope that we can be not only free from symptoms of prostate enlargement but also side effect free from medications prescribed from the condition.