stopping Tamsulosin after acute urinary retention

Posted , 7 users are following.

My husband had an episode of AUR over 2 months ago we believe caused by taking an antihistamine and six pints of beer. Prior to this   Slight urinary issues, slow stream in the morning, etc but nothing major. 

After the the retention episode he was put on Tamsulosin. He is very keen to come off them and thinks as the retention had a cause ( antihistamine and large volume of beer) if he's careful from now on he should be ok. Is this silly or do you think he would be ok to chance it? His prostate on DRE we were told felt normal size for his age , 54) so I don't think it's a overly large prostate causing an obstruction. 

He he is due another PSa in a few weeks so don't want to risk retention and using catheter that may push up PSa but  just wondered if you lovely gents thought he may be ok without Tamsulosin seeing as we had a good reason for the retention?

Does the bladder shrink back ok and work again on its own? 

Also so have thought about changing to Alfuzosin..... Does anyone know if the retro is less on this and does it affect PSa levels?

many thanks for any thoughts and advice,


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9 Replies

  • Posted

    I was on Tamsulosin for some 4 years for BPH, didn't like retro so I switched to Alfuzosin, a bit more expensive, but got rid of most retro side effects, and no other issues or side effects, so works for me, Alfuzosin doesn't effect PSA

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    • Posted

      Thankyou for the reassurance re PSa...... Yes the retro freaked him out a bit hence the thinking of change.

      That and the need for an alpha blocker compatible with Doxycycline antibiotic .... Which it seems Tamsulosin isn't.... So it's either a switch or try without.

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  • Posted

    Hi, I was getting up 3/4 times a night plus my prostate was enlarged . I was put on this medication for 5 months. Had no effect whatsoever. 

    Not a Doctor but don't think stopping the med will do any harm, provided you have a good flow and not up half the night peeing. Take care.


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  • Posted

    Hello Ali,

    Around Christmas time I had a very unpleasant experience. My wife and I stopped at our local tavern and I drank 6 or 7 pints of beer. To make a long story a bit shorter, by bed time I was completely unable to urinate. Not a drop. I too had experienced a slow stream and had to get up early to go despite being retired so I could sleep in. 

    I had to make a very uncomfortable 20 minute drive to the hospital where after an hour of paperwork, questions, and severe pain, a brutal nurse Ratchet shoved a catheter up me. I wore a foley catheter home and visited my doctor 4 days later. I was then prescribed the Tamsulosin.

    Everything was fine but I was very worried about the same thing happening again. So I searched the internet and found out about the enlarged prostate and urine retention. I also learned about intermittent self catherization. I decided that learning to self catheterise myself and buying a selection of catheters for self defense was in order. Best thing I ever did.

    I had taken no antihistamines so that was not part of the equation. I was blaming the beer but the urologist assured me beer is not the problem. I found out a month later that drinking a large quantity of anything is the problem. I needed an ultrasound to check for urine retention and I was ordered to drink 48 ounces of water. When I was told to go empty my bladder, approximately 2 ounces came out. I knew I was in trouble.

    So it wasn't beer, it was just a large amount of any liquid in a short time. And the Tamsulosin didn't help. I am still taking the Tamsulosin but the real secret to my salvation is with learning to use an intermittent catheter a few times per month when I need to. After using a catheter once to drain off the excess, I am fine until the next time.

    My Urologist approves and told me I could have the laser surgery on the prostate, or just continue with what I'm doing. I will decide between now and December. I hope this helps.

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  • Posted

    I was on Tamsulosin and I thought it was helping my urine flow. It was prescribed after I had episodes of retention which was thought to be caused by bph, I was scheduled by a locum urologist for TURP, but my own Uro said he didn't want to carve me up unnecessarily as my Prostate is not unduly enlarged, What seems to be my trouble is irritable bladder neck and infections caused by retention which causes worse retention. I risked stopping the Tamsulosin and am peeing well without it. It does seem to help to drink only moderate amounts and to avoid tea and coffee.

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    • Posted

      Thankyou all for your replies) 

      Unfortunatly we don't want to self cath..... Not that he wouldn't but we are pinning our hopes on his PSa coming down at next test to avoid a biopsy and self cathing may set us back a few weeks or give a false elevation which will scare me silly. I'm 7 months pregnant and working myself into a state as it is..... Poor hubby sad 

      Am thinking of asking GP to change to Alfuzosin, a different alpha blocker..... Any experiences of this one? 

      He has also been on Saw Palmetto,nettle root and Pumkin Oil for the last two months as well so we are not sure what ,if anything is keeping him ok. He might be fine off the drugs..... 

      Thanks again all smile 

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    • Posted

      That is interesting. Hubby had no antibiotics during or after retention and catheter...... We are currently trying to decide which antibiotics to try as I believe ( hope!!!) that an infection after all that is behind his rising PSa since the retention. 

      My my suspicions of infections were raised even more last week when he ejaculated for the first time since catheter removal ( 6 weeks after) and no semen due to retro but very bloody seminal fluid. I am hoping this is a sign of infection or inflammation which may be pushing PSa up not a sign of cancer .

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  • Posted

    Hi Ali,

    Best of luck to you both. I'd like to hear the results of whatever you try. I'm considering stopping the tamsulosin myself.


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  • Posted

    Prostate being described as "normal for age" is not very informative. In some cases, growing prostate can develop lobes that will protrude into bladder creating problems around bladder neck area, sometimes even flaps empeding or stopping flow. Cystoscopy can be quite helpful in getting better insight.

    In my case, prostate was described as enlargerd, large, not so large by differents urologists, but cystoscopy revealed big protrusion into bladder and a bladder stone - quite usual considering that most folks will severely cut down of fluid intake to minimize bathroom visits resulting in concentrated urine and increased probability of bladder stones.

    Tamsulosin, for me, reduced frequency, urgency, but was only postponing what was happening. It did not affect PSA scores.

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