Say no to Flomax, save up to $3,000 a year “For most men, doxazosin-a generic alpha-blocker-works just as well and is as safe as the heavily advertised drug Flomax (a brand-name alpha-blocker). But the kicker here is the difference in price: doxazosin can cost $10 or less a month, whereas Flomax can set you back up to $246.” [Consumer Reports Health]


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  1. FLConsumer says:

    Not surprised. Many of the older drugs are safer and just as effective as, if not more effective than, more expensive and newer drugs.

    The older drugs just happen to lack the billion-dollar advertising budgets, free lunches & kickbacks to doctors so they’re not as widely used these days.

  2. SgtMajorFragg says:

    Why am I not surprised by this revelation? Everyone knows that generics are cheaper by far, and most drugs come onto the market as a generic as their patent expires.

    That’s why drug companies will typically change an existing drug to one with more strength or that lasts longer (Wellbutrin, Wellbutrin XL, Wellbutrin SR, Zyban, etc. are good examples). They keep the patent going and protect their interests in the long run.


    • wwahammy says:

      @SgtMajorFragg: Wellbutrin SR was introduced well before its patent ended. Bupropion can cause seizures in some patients and but the seizure risk decreased significantly when it was put into a sustained release formula. I don’t even think you can buy Wellbutrin in the US anymore.

      Wellbutrin XL was certainly introduced to get around the patent expiration though. No idea on what is different between the Zyban and Wellbutrin formulations though either.

      • Zyzzyva100 says:


        No difference between wellbutrin and zyban. My wife was prescribed wellbutrin to quit smoking, same stuff. You just happen to be able to get a new patent for a drug when you come up with a new indication.

  3. Zyzzyva100 says:

    Yea, only problem here is that doxazosin is a non-selective alpha1 receptor antagonist, and what other important structures have lost of alpha1 receptors? Your blood vessels. And what nasty side effect can alpha blockers have? Severe orthostatic hypotension. Meaning grandpa may try to stand up after saving all this money a month and bam, pass right the hell out, hit his head and end up with a subdural bleed (since your brain shrinks as you age and the bridging veins are more susceptible to tearing).

    Flomax (tamulosin) on the other hand is much more specific for the alpha1 receptors in the prostate, and so it doesn’t have the orthostatic hypotension effect nearly as much. Now granted, most people with BPH have some degree of hypertension anyway, just based on aging, BUT not always. I know this advice always comes with a grain of salt, but don’t badger your doctor into giving you something that you really shouldn’t have just to save money – and by the same token don’t let them take you for a ride either.

    • Coles_Law says:

      @Zyzzyva100: Good advice, and a very interesting point. Could you list a source? I don’t take either drug, but it sounds interesting.

    • I speak Jive. says:

      @Zyzzyva100: In addition to being more selective for the prostate than doxazosin, tamsulosin also doesn’t require dose titration- it comes in one dose (0.4mg).

      For elderly patients (the majority of the BPH population) taking multiple pills can get confusing, leading to medication errors and overdoses. Many, many urologists prefer Flomax for that very reason.

    • geeniusatwrok says:

      @Zyzzyva100: Sounds good in theory but both Flomax and doxazosin made my heart race and I passed out twice after climbing the stairs. Tried the latter first, then the former, no difference. My usual blood pressure is low-normal anyway, so that probably didn’t help.

      Decided to just live w/getting up in the middle of the night to pee.

      Oh and BPH isn’t limited to old guys, either, and drop the condescending confused old grandpa crap. You sound like a shill for Flomax.

  4. H3ion says:

    I always thought a great Flomax ad would have the four musketeers ride their bikes, stop at a large tree, and all relieve themselves simultaneously. I guess you have to picture the ad.

  5. czetie says:

    Personally I think that health care reform needs to start with an outright ban on ads that include the four words “Ask your doctor about…”. These ads have no legitimate reason to exist. You can make an argument for ads that encourage people to ask their doctor about specific symptoms they are suffering from; and it’s fine for the makers to advertise the availability of their drugs to doctors. But there’s no justification for prompting patients to bug their doctors to prescribe a particular drug.

    • chemicalx9 says:

      @czetie: hear hear!

    • FLConsumer says:

      @czetie: Off the top of my head, the U.S.A. is the only country which allows direct-to-patient marketing of prescription drugs/devices. There might be an outlier here or there but I can’t say I’ve ever seen such an advert in Europe.

  6. Hands says:

    Flomax solved my peeing problem in one day. Unfortunately it also eliminated ejaculation and sensation during orgasm. When I started reading around there was also considerable anecdotal evidence that it caused full body PERMANENT loss of muscle strength. I don’t ordinarily panic at anecdotal accounts but this was way too serious for me to ignore.

    I spoke with my doctor about this and he told me there was no empirical evidence to support my own side effects, therefore it couldn’t be the medicine. When I called him a second time, he told me not to talk to him about this anymore. I haven’t — or talked to him about anything else, either.

    I stopped the Flomax after three days and switched to a combination of zinc {50 mg} and saw palmetto {900 mg twice a day}. It took awhile and isn’t as effective as Flomax but it’s good enough {I’d say I sleep thru the nite 50% of the time and that could be age related instead of bladder related} and there are no side effects I can discern.

    So I gave up Flomax and I gave up an inept doctor.