Compare Proscar vs. Flomax

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



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.
Reviews & ratings
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Have you used Proscar (finasteride)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Reviews for Flomax
-40% worse vs. Proscar
-5% worse vs. Proscar
-17% worse vs. Proscar
Have you used Flomax (tamsulosin)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
  • Impotence 4%
  • Decreased libido 3%
  • Decreased volume of ejaculate 3%
  • Breast enlargement 1%
More Proscar side effects »
  • Dizziness 5%
  • Inflammation inside the nose 5%
  • Infection 1%
  • Muscle weakness 2%
  • Abnormal ejaculation 8%
  • Back pain 1%
  • Sore throat 1%
  • Diarrhea 1%
More Flomax side effects »
How it works
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
Prescription onlyPrescription only
Available as
  • Pill
  • Pill
Used for
Risk factors for serious side effects
  • Men age 55 or older
  • Women of childbearing age
  • Breast-feeding
  • Current liver problems
  • Men who are older
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 »

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.

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

Kidneys and liver
  • Proscar (Finasteride) is processed by the liver. If you have liver problems, you may need a different dose to prevent increased risk for side effects.
No kidneys and liver related info.
No pain related info.
  • Can cause dizziness, muscle pain, headache and stuffy/runny nose.
Upsides and benefits
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
Have you used Proscar (finasteride)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about FlomaxSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Flomax (tamsulosin)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it