Flomax May Cause Eye Damage if Used within Two Weeks of Cataract Surgery
According to a study published by the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), Flomax, a drug used to treat prostate enlargement, may cause serious eye damage if it is used within two weeks before cataract surgery.
The study showed that men who used Flomax within the two weeks prior to their cataract surgery were 2.3 times more likely to suffer an eye injury than those not using Flomax. These men suffered injuries such as detached retinas or lost lenses, which require subsequent surgeries.
The possible reason for this association is that Flomax, which works by relaxing the muscles along the urinary tract, has a similar effect on the muscles around the iris of the eye.
A 2005 study found similar results. Following that study, Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, the Ridgefield, Connecticut-based maker of Flomax, issued a letter to healthcare providers warning them of the association between Flomax and eye injuries. No such letter has been issued with regard to this study. The 2005 letter is available here: http://www.fda.gov/medwatch/safety/2005/Flomax_dearhcp_nov22_PI.pdf