Compare Proscar vs. Flomax

Head-to-head comparisons of medication uses, side effects, ratings, and more.

Proscar
(Finasteride)

Flomax
(Tamsulosin)

Improves prostate symptoms. Proscar (Finasteride) works well for mild to moderate symptoms of BPH. When men have more severe symptoms, it can be combined with doxazosin or other medicines for added benefits.Makes it easier to urinate. Flomax (Tamsulosin) is a first-choice treatment for enlarged prostate, and it's available as a generic. However, it can cause changes in your sex drive and can take a while to kick in.
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Reviews & ratings
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Reviews for Flomax (Tamsulosin)
63%
+34% vs. Proscar (Finasteride)
44%
+15% vs. Proscar (Finasteride)
15%
+14% vs. Proscar (Finasteride)
Side effects
ProscarFlomax
  • Impotence 4%
  • Decreased libido 3%
  • Decreased volume of ejaculate 3%
  • Breast enlargement 1%
More Proscar side effects »
  • Inflammation inside the nose 10%
  • Dizziness 7%
  • Cough increased 3%
  • Infection 3%
  • Muscle weakness 3%
  • Back pain 2%
  • Sinus inflammation 2%
  • Drowsiness 2%
  • Nausea 1%
  • Tooth disorder 1%
More Flomax side effects »
How it works
ProscarFlomax
Proscar (Finasteride) blocks the action of 5-alpha-reductase, an enzyme responsible for changing testosterone into dihydrotestosterone (DHT). Lower DHT levels prevents the prostate from growing.Flomax (Tamsulosin) is an alpha-1 blocker. It specifically targets and relaxes muscles in your prostate, which makes it easier to urinate.
Type of medication
ProscarFlomax
5-alpha reductase inhibitorPrescription only
Alpha blockerPrescription only
Available as
ProscarFlomax
  • Pill
  • Pill
Used for (click to learn more)
ProscarFlomax
Risk factors for serious side effects
ProscarFlomax
    • Men age 55 or older
    • Women of childbearing age
    • Breast-feeding
    • Current liver problems
    • Men who are older
    • Taking medicines that cause sexual side effects
    • Medical conditions that cause sexual side effects
    Detailed Proscar (Finasteride) risks & warnings »
    • Taking medications for high blood pressure
      • Cataract or glaucoma surgery
      • Alcohol use
      • Heavy exercise
      • Hot weather
        Detailed Flomax (Tamsulosin) risks & warnings »
        Pregnancy category
        ProscarFlomax
        XFDA pregnancy category (Unsafe)

        Research studies with real people or animals found harmful effects on unborn babies. If you’re pregnant, the risks to your unborn baby outweigh the benefits.

        See the FDA package insert
        BFDA pregnancy category (Probably safe)

        Research studies with animals haven’t found a risk to unborn babies, but it hasn’t been properly studied in humans.

        See the FDA package insert
        Alcohol
        No specific alcohol-related info.
        • People on Flomax (Tamsulosin) can be more likely to have heat stroke. Drink plenty of fluids if you're going to be in hot weather, especially if you're going to be exercising or drinking alcohol.
        Food
        • Take Proscar (Finasteride) once daily, about the same time each day, with or without food.
        • Take this 30 minutes after the same meal every day.
        Kidneys and liver
        No specific kidneys and liver-related info.No specific kidneys and liver-related info.
        Sex
        • Can cause a rash, the inability to get an erection, low sex drive, and reduced amount of sperm.
        • It’s not that common, but some people had sexual side effects that continued after they stopped taking Proscar (Finasteride) for BPH. Side effects included problems with erection and orgasm, low sex drive, and reduced amount of sperm. It was more likely to happen in older men, taking medicines that have sexual side effects, and had conditions that cause sexual problems.
        • Can reduce sex drive.
        • Can cause changes in sex drive.
        • People on Flomax (Tamsulosin) can experience changes in their sex drive. Talk to your doctor if you find this bothers you.
        Sleep
        No specific sleep-related info.No specific sleep-related info.
        Weight
        No specific weight-related info.No specific weight-related info.
        Upsides and benefits
        ProscarFlomax
        • It's an option for men who have symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) and either don’t want surgery or aren’t good candidates it.
        • In studies, Proscar (Finasteride) improved BPH symptoms during the first year of taking it. This effect continued for another 5 years.
        • Men taking Proscar (Finasteride) have less difficulty urinating and don't need BPH-related surgery as often as others.
        • Can be combined with doxazosin, an alpha-adrenergic antagonist, if your symptoms are more severe. Using both together can improve symptoms and improve BPH symptoms.
        • First-choice medication for relieving the symptoms of an enlarged prostate.
        • Helps make urinating easier.
        • Available as a generic medication.
        • Also available in a combination form with another medication to treat more severe symptoms of an enlarged prostate.
        • Since it works only on the muscles around the prostate, it has fewer blood pressure and heart-related side effects than other medicines in the same class.
        Downsides and risks
        ProscarFlomax
        • Women who can get pregnant shouldn’t handle broken tablets. Proscar (Finasteride) tablets are coated and prevent contact with the active medicine unless they split or break.
        • You need to take Proscar (Finasteride) for at least 6 months before your prostate gets small enough for symptoms to improve.
        • Can cause a rash, the inability to get an erection, low sex drive, and reduced amount of sperm.
        • Proscar (Finasteride) can cause PSA levels to decrease to about 50% of what it was before you started the medication. This will be considered your new starting point for PSA testing and any PSA tests you have will be compared to this going forward.
        • Has to be taken the same time every day.
        • It can take up to one month to see the full effects of the medication.
        • Can reduce sex drive.
        • Flomax (Tamsulosin) can't be stopped suddenly, so you'll need to talk to your doctor about how to stop taking it safely.
        • It doesn't shrink the size of the prostate.
        Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
        ProscarFlomax
        • Take Proscar (Finasteride) once daily, about the same time each day, with or without food.
        • Women who can get pregnant shouldn’t touch Proscar (Finasteride) tablets.
        • If you’re taking Proscar (Finasteride) with doxazosin, you can take both at the same time or take the doxazosin closer to bedtime to avoid dizziness.
        • Take this 30 minutes after the same meal every day.
        • Can cause dizziness, muscle pain, headache and stuffy/runny nose.
        • Can cause changes in sex drive.
        • Don't stop taking this medication suddenly without talking to your doctor.
        Learn more
        More about ProscarSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
        More about FlomaxSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert