Harvard Perspectives on Prostate Disease

Ask the doctor

This quarter, urologist Kevin R. Loughlin, M.D., M.B.A., a member of Perspectives' editorial board, answers your prostate questions

Q. I take Flomax (tamsulosin) to manage my BPH. The commercials say something about having cataract surgery. What's the connection between the drug and cataracts? If I'm taking Flomax, do I have to forgo having my cataracts removed?

A. Flomax works by blocking certain cellular receptors, causing the smooth muscle in the neck of the bladder and the urethra to relax. As a result, urine flow improves. Although they aren't particularly abundant, these same receptors exist elsewhere in the body, including the iris in your eye. The iris opens and closes to adjust the amount of light entering the pupil. When the receptors that control the iris are blocked, the pupil constricts.

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