Tamsulosin

(Date: March 2018. Version: 2)

This factsheet has been written for members of the public by the UK Teratology Information Service (UKTIS). UKTIS is a not-for-profit organisation funded by Public Health England on behalf of UK Health Departments. UKTIS has been providing scientific information to health care providers since 1983 on the effects that medicines, recreational drugs and chemicals may have on the developing baby during pregnancy.

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What is it?

Tamsulosin is a medicine that is occasionally used in women to treat kidney stones and other disorders of the kidney/urinary tract.

Is it safe to use tamsulosin in pregnancy?

When considering treatment with tamsulosin in pregnancy it is necessary for women and prescribers to weigh up the risks and benefits to both mother and baby of using a medication against those of not taking it. The outcome of this assessment will vary from person to person and will depend on the severity of the mother’s condition and the complications that could arise if her treatment is altered. Some of the possible risks to a baby may depend on how many weeks pregnant you are. Remaining well is particularly important during pregnancy and while caring for a baby. For some women, treatment with tamsulosin during pregnancy may be considered necessary.

What if I have already taken tamsulosin during pregnancy?

It is always a good idea to let your doctor know that you are pregnant if you have taken any medicines in case you need any additional monitoring or treatment.

This leaflet summarises the scientific studies relating to the effects of tamsulosin on a baby in the womb. 

Can use of tamsulosin in pregnancy cause my baby to be born with birth defects?

A baby’s body and most internal organs are formed during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. It is mainly during this time that some medicines are known to cause birth defects.

No studies have assessed the chance birth defects in the baby following use of tamsulosin in pregnancy. Research into this subject is therefore required.

Can use of tamsulosin in pregnancy cause miscarriage?

No studies have assessed the chance of miscarriage following use of tamsulosin in pregnancy. Research into this subject is therefore required.

Can use of tamsulosin in pregnancy cause stillbirth?

No studies have assessed the chance of stillbirth following use of tamsulosin in pregnancy. There are case reports of 27 pregnancies with tamsulosin exposure, none of which resulted in stillbirth. However, large, well-designed studies are required before we can say whether tamsulosin use in pregnancy increases the chance of stillbirth.

Can use of tamsulosin in pregnancy cause preterm birth or my baby to be small at birth (low birth weight)?

No studies have assessed the chance of preterm birth or low infant birth weight following use of tamsulosin in pregnancy. Research into this subject is therefore required.

Can taking tamsulosin in pregnancy cause learning or behavioural problems in the child?

A baby’s brain continues to develop right up until the end of pregnancy. It is therefore possible that taking certain medicines at any stage of pregnancy could have a lasting effect on a child’s learning or behaviour.

No studies have investigated learning and development in children exposed to tamsulosin in the womb. Research into this subject is therefore required.

Will my baby need extra monitoring during pregnancy?

As part of their routine antenatal care most women will be offered a scan at around 20 weeks of pregnancy to look for birth defects and to check the baby’s growth.

Because the effects of tamsulosin exposure on a developing baby are largely unknown your doctor may suggest additional monitoring if you have used tamsulosin in pregnancy to ensure that the baby is growing and developing as expected.

Are there any risks to my baby if the father has used tamsulosin?

We would not expect any increased risk to your baby if the father used tamsulosin before or around the time you became pregnant.

Who can I talk to if I have questions?

If you have any questions regarding the information in this leaflet please discuss them with your health care provider. They can access more detailed medical and scientific information from www.uktis.org.  

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WE NEED YOUR HELP! Do you have 3 minutes to complete a short, quick and simple 12 question user feedback form about our bumps information leaflets? To have your say on how we can improve our website and the information we provide please visit www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/uktis-bumps.

General information 

Up to 1 out of every 5 pregnancies ends in a miscarriage, and 1 in 40 babies are born with a birth defect. These are referred to as the background population risks.  They describe the chance of these events happening for any pregnancy before taking factors such as the mother’s health during pregnancy, her lifestyle, medicines she takes and the genetic make up of her and the baby’s father into account.

Medicines use in pregnancy

Most medicines used by the mother will cross the placenta and reach the baby. Sometimes this may have beneficial effects for the baby.  There are, however, some medicines that can harm a baby’s normal development.  How a medicine affects a baby may depend on the stage of pregnancy when the medicine is taken. If you are on regular medication you should discuss these effects with your doctor/health care team before becoming pregnant.

If a new medicine is suggested for you during pregnancy, please ensure the doctor or health care professional treating you is aware of your pregnancy.

When deciding whether or not to use a medicine in pregnancy you need to weigh up how the medicine might improve your and/or your unborn baby’s health against any possible problems that the drug may cause. Our bumps leaflets are written to provide you with a summary of what is known about use of a specific medicine in pregnancy so that you can decide together with your health care provider what is best for you and your baby.   

Every pregnancy is unique. The decision to start, stop, continue or change a prescribed medicine before or during pregnancy should be made in consultation with your health care provider. It is very helpful if you can record all your medication taken in pregnancy in your hand held maternity records.

   

www.medicinesinpregnancy.org

Disclaimer: This information is not intended to replace the individual care and advice of your health care provider. New information is continually becoming available. Whilst every effort will be made to ensure that this information is accurate and up to date at the time of publication, we cannot cover every eventuality and the information providers cannot be held responsible for any adverse outcomes following decisions made on the basis of this information. We strongly advise that printouts should NOT be kept for any length of time, or for “future reference” as they can rapidly become out of date.

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