Are you or someone you know experiencing Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH)? It’s a common condition among aging men, often causing urinary difficulties and impacting the overall quality of life. Two medications have emerged as popular choices: Finasteride and Tamsulosin. But how do these two treatments compare, and which one might be better for managing BPH symptoms?

In this article, we’ll delve into prostate health to explore the differences between Finasteride and Tamsulosin. It’ll help you decide what’s best for you. No matter if you’re already familiar with these drugs or just starting, this comparison will help you figure out how to improve your prostate health. It will also help you reclaim your comfort. Here’s how Finasteride versus Tamsulosin compare!

Finasteride Vs Tamsulosin: Legal Classification

In the U.S., these are the two most commonly prescribed prescription-only drugs, which means a physician or other qualified prescriber needs to issue a prescription (private prescription) for them to be dispensed.

What is Finasteride?

Finasteride is marketed under various brand names, each offering different tablet strengths. For instance, Propecia, a brand name for Finasteride, is typically available in 1mg tablet strength and used to treat hair loss. On the other hand, Proscar, another brand name for Finasteride, is usually offered in 5mg tablet strength. It is prescribed for benign prostatic hyperplasia. Despite the different brand names and tablet strengths, the active ingredient remains the same – Finasteride – which decreases the amount of a natural body hormone (DHT) that causes prostate growth.

What conditions is Finasteride approved to treat?

Finasteride is a medication used to treat male pattern baldness and benign prostatic hyperplasia, a condition characterized by an enlarged prostate. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Finasteride on December 19, 1997, underlining its safety and efficacy for the conditions above.

What is Tamsulosin?

Tamsulosin, commonly marketed under the brand names Flomax and Urimax, is a medication primarily used to treat the symptoms of an enlarged prostate, a condition also known as benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). This alpha-blocker relaxes the prostate and bladder neck muscles, making urinating easier.

What conditions is Tamsulosin approved to treat?

Tamsulosin was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on April 15, 1997. It is available in different strengths, the most common being 0.4 mg tablets. However, depending on the severity of the symptoms and the patient’s overall health condition, doctors may prescribe a lower or higher dose. It’s critical to note that while Tamsulosin alleviates symptoms of an enlarged prostate, it does not shrink the prostate itself. Therefore, it is often used with other medications or treatments for optimal results.

What Is The Difference Between Finasteride And Tamsulosin?

Finasteride and Tamsulosin have distinct differences in their primary use, mechanisms of action, class of drug, side effects, and overall approach to managing BPH. Let’s explore the differences between them.

Difference in Working Mechanism

Finasteride working Mechanism: Finasteride, a 5-alpha reductase inhibitor, reduces prostate size over time. It accomplishes this by blocking testosterone conversion into dihydrotestosterone (DHT), a hormone that contributes to prostate growth.

Tamsulosin working Mechanism: On the other hand, Tamsulosin is an alpha-blocker that relaxes the prostate and bladder neck muscles, improving urine flow and reducing BPH symptoms.

Difference Common side effects

Finasteride: sexual dysfunction, swelling in various body parts, breast tenderness, skin rashes, impotence, and difficulties with orgasms.

Tamsulosin: Sometimes, its side effects are the same as Finasteride, including dizziness and fainting.

Finasteride Vs Tamsulosin: Which Drug Is More Popular?

The popularity contest between Finasteride and Tamsulosin is evident that both drugs have their loyal followings. Finasteride treats male pattern baldness and an enlarged prostate. Tamsulosin is prescribed to relieve the symptoms of an enlarged prostate. While both drugs serve different purposes, it’s worthwhile to note that Finasteride has gained more popularity due to its dual function in treating hair loss and prostate issues. Its widespread use has led to higher recognition among the public.

On the other hand, Tamsulosin may not be as well-known outside of medical circles or among those directly affected by prostate problems. This could be attributed to the fact that baldness affects a larger demographic than benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), which is commonly treated with Tamsulosin. Nonetheless, within the medical community, both drugs have their significance and are prevalent in their respective fields.

The U.S. Drug Usage Statistics, 2013–2020: Finasteride vs. Tamsulosin.

Among the Top 300 drugs in 2020, two notable drugs made the list, according to ClinCalc DrugStats. Ranked at 90, Finasteride emerged as a prominent player with 8,185,106 prescriptions, benefiting 2,156,558 patients throughout the year. Meanwhile, Tamsulosin claimed an even higher rank at 24, with an impressive 24,692,402 prescriptions reaching 5,856,108 patients. These statistics underscore the significant impact these medications have had on healthcare. This is due to their widespread use and efficacy in addressing the medical needs of a substantial patient population.

Which Drug Is Better: Tamsulosin Or Finasteride?

Few studies compared Tamsulosin and Finasteride effectiveness for BPH.


In one study, 403 patients participated in a 52-week trial (Rigatti et al., 2003). Patients were randomly given Tamsulosin or Finasteride. This study aimed to compare both drugs’ efficacy and tolerability in patients with lower urinary tract symptoms (BPH).

This study concluded that Tamsulosin improved symptoms more than Finasteride. Tamsulosin also improved urinary symptoms quicker than Tamsulosin.

The secondary aim of the above study was to measure how quickly symptom control is achieved. About half of the total effect was completed after one week of treatment for Tamsulosin. Maximum improvement in symptom control with Tamsulosin was achieved during week 18 of the study.

Compared to Finasteride, Tamsulosin worked faster, improving storage symptoms, considered most troublesome for patients. After 26 weeks of treatment, both drugs produced the same symptom relief (ibid).


In Study 2002, The Cochrane Collaboration (a worldwide collaboration of scientists) looked at the effectiveness of Finasteride in BPH treatment by looking at different studies (Tacklind et al., 2010). Although comparing Finasteride with alpha-blockers was not the main aim of this study, some valuable facts about Finasteride treatment were highlighted in this review.

Finasteride significantly improves urinary symptoms compared to a placebo (a dummy pill) and reduces BPH progression risk. Finasteride is less effective than some alpha-blockers (doxazosin and terazosin) but equally effective as Tamsulosin.

Short-term use of Finasteride does not improve BPH symptoms, but it does in the long run. Alpha-blocker doxazosin improves BPH symptoms better than Finasteride in short- and long-term treatment.

Combining Finasteride and doxazosin improves symptom control, both short and long-term, with significantly better results than monotherapy with Finasteride.

In men with larger prostates, a combination therapy it improved symptoms more significantly than a single Finasteride treatment. Combination therapy with two drugs (alpha-blocker and 5-alpha reductase inhibitor) increases the risk of side effects, including dizziness, asthenia (weakness), erectile and ejaculation disorders, and postural hypotension (a drop in blood pressure when an individual stands up).

Do Finasteride And Tamsulosin Interact With Each Other?

When it comes to the interaction between Finasteride and Tamsulosin, studies have shown that when Finasteride and Tamsulosin are used together, there is generally no significant interaction between the two drugs. However, patients must communicate openly with their healthcare providers about their medications and supplements to avoid potential adverse effects or interactions. Understanding how these drugs work individually can help healthcare professionals make informed decisions about their combined use in treating prostate conditions.

While Finasteride and Tamsulosin are often prescribed concurrently for managing benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), research suggests that their interaction may not pose significant concerns for most patients. Nonetheless, individual responses can vary, highlighting the importance of personalized medical advice when considering these medications together. Consulting with a healthcare provider remains integral in ensuring safe and effective treatment outcomes for Finasteride and Tamsulosin patients.

Final Words From AzDrug

Finasteride and Tamsulosin play an essential role in BPH management. The main points to take away are as follows:

  • Both Finasteride and Tamsulosin are effective in the treatment of BPH
  • Tamsulosin provides faster relief than Finasteride
  • Other alpha-blockers, particularly doxazosin and terazosin, are more effective at symptom control than Finasteride.

Finasteride and Tamsulosin are both reliable and efficient once-a-day options for managing BPH. Tamsulosin appears to alleviate symptoms better. However, if your prostate is significantly enlarged, Finasteride may be the preferred option.

Finasteride and Tamsulosin carry varying side effects and risks. Finasteride has sexual side effects, such as erectile dysfunction. Tamsulosin may lead to low blood pressure or dizziness. If you’re experiencing bothersome BPH symptoms, it’s worthwhile to discuss them with your healthcare provider. They have the expertise to assess whether any of these treatments suit you.

Why take tamsulosin and finasteride together?

Tamsulosin and finasteride are often prescribed together for benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). Tamsulosin relieves symptoms by relaxing prostate muscles, while finasteride reduces prostate size over time, providing a more comprehensive approach to managing BPH.

Why is tamsulosin preferred for BPH?

Tamsulosin is preferred for BPH due to its ability to selectively target and relax the prostate and bladder muscles. This improves urine flow and reduces symptoms like difficulty urinating. It is commonly used to enhance the quality of life for BPH patients.

Is finasteride worth for BPH?

Finasteride can manage symptoms of Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH), such as reducing prostate size and improving urinary flow. However, its use should be discussed with a healthcare professional who can assess its suitability based on individual health and circumstances.

Tamsulosin and finasteride should be taken, and at what time?

Tamsulosin is typically taken 30 minutes after the same meal each day, while finasteride can be taken with or without food. It's crucial to follow your healthcare provider's specific instructions for the timing and dosage of these medications.

Disclaimer: Please see your healthcare practitioner for any medical queries or concerns. Peer-reviewed research and information from medical societies and government agencies are used to support the articles in Health Guide. They are not, however, a replacement for expert medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.

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  • Mohanty, NK, et al. “A Comparative Study of Fixed Dose of Tamsulosin with Finasteride vs Tamsulosin with Dutasteride in the Management of Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia.” Indian Journal of Urology, vol. 22, no. 2, 2006, p. 130, Accessed 15 Nov. 2023.
  • Rigatti, P., et al. “A Comparison of the Efficacy and Tolerability of Tamsulosin and Finasteride in Patients with Lower Urinary Tract Symptoms Suggestive of Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia.” Prostate Cancer and Prostatic Diseases, vol. 6, no. 4, Dec. 2003, pp. 315–23, Accessed 16 Nov. 2023.
  • “Tamsulosin: MedlinePlus Drug Information.”, 15 Jan. 2018, Accessed 14 Nov. 2023.
  • Yin, Ting, et al. “Comparisons of the Efficacy and Safety of Finasteride and Dutasteride for Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia: A Network Meta-Analysis.” American Journal of Therapeutics, vol. 24, no. 5, Sept. 2017, pp. e517–23, Accessed 17 Nov. 2023.

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