Date: October 2022, Version 3

Quick read

Tamsulosin is not usually recommended in pregnancy as there is not enough information to say that it is safe for the baby.

What is it?

Tamsulosin (Flowmax®, Contiflo XL®) is occasionally used in women to treat kidney stones and some bladder problems.


What are the benefits of taking tamsulosin in pregnancy?

Tamsulosin treatment can reduce the time it takes for a kidney stone to pass and can improve symptoms of some bladder problems. However, tamsulosin is generally avoided in pregnancy as there is very little information on its use.


What are the risks of taking tamsulosin in pregnancy?

It is unclear if there are possible risks. Tamsulosin use in pregnancy has been studied in fewer than 100 women. Although the available information does not suggest it harms the baby in the womb, much more information needs to be collected to confirm this.

If a woman taking tamsulosin realises she is pregnant, she should contact her doctor to arrange a medication review.


Are there any alternatives to taking tamsulosin in pregnancy?

Yes, usually. It may be possible to use a different drug, or non-drug treatments, for kidney stones and bladder problems. 

No treatment

What if I prefer not to take tamsulosin in pregnancy?

A doctor will offer an alternative if this is appropriate.

Medicines will only be prescribed during pregnancy when necessary and a doctor will be happy to talk about any concerns.

Will I or my baby need extra monitoring?

In the UK, all women will be offered a very detailed scan at around 20 weeks of pregnancy as part of their routine antenatal care. No additional monitoring of the baby is required if tamsulosin was used in pregnancy. 

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

There is no evidence that tamsulosin used by the father can harm the baby through effects on the sperm.

Who can I talk to if I have questions?

If you have any questions about 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.

How can I help to improve drug safety information for pregnant women in the future?

Our online reporting system (MyBump Portal) allows women who are currently pregnant to create a secure record of their pregnancy, collected through a series of questionnaires. You will be asked to enter information about your health, whether or not you take any medicines, your pregnancy outcome and your child's development. You can update your details at any time during pregnancy or afterwards. This information will help us better understand how medicines affect the health of pregnant women and their babies. Please visit the MyBump Portal to register.

General information
Sadly, miscarriage and birth defects can occur in any pregnancy.

Miscarriage occurs in about 1 in every 5 pregnancies, and 1 in every 40 babies are born with a birth defect. This is called the ‘background risk’ and happens whether medication is taken or not.

Most medicines cross the placenta and reach the baby. For many medications this is not a problem. However, some medicines can affect a baby’s growth and development.

If you take regular medication and are planning to conceive, you should discuss whether your medicine is safe to continue with your doctor/health care team before becoming pregnant. If you have an unplanned pregnancy while taking a medicine, you should tell your doctor as soon as possible.

If a new medicine is suggested for you during pregnancy, please make sure that the person prescribing it knows that you are pregnant. If you have any concerns about a medicine, you can check with your doctor, midwife or pharmacist.

Our Bumps information leaflets provide information about the effects of medicines in pregnancy so that you can decide, together with your healthcare provider, what is best for you and your baby.