Drugs that may cause erection problems: MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia

Water pills (diuretics). Diabetes, chronic alcoholism, multiple sclerosis, heavy metal poisoning, spinal cord and nerve injuries, and nerve damage from pelvic operations can cause erectile dysfunction. Some temporary causes of erectile dysfunction can stem from excessive alcohol consumption, stress, fatigue, or even just having an argument with your partner.

Since ED can be a forewarning symptom of progressive coronary disease, doctors should be more direct when questioning patients about their health.

Hormonal abnormalities, such as increased prolactin (a hormone produced by the anterior pituitary gland), steroid abuse by bodybuilders, too much or too little thyroid hormone, and hormones administered for prostate cancer may cause ED. Methods for reversing ED fall into three categories: Secondary sex characteristics, such as hair pattern, can point to hormonal problems, which involve the endocrine system. This may improve energy, mood, and increase sexual interest in older men who have low testosterone.

Drugs used to treat cardiovascular risk factors don’t appear to affect erectile function. Most often, one small surgical cut is made. To cut to the chase, both diuretics and beta blockers are good at lowering high blood pressure, but sometimes they may also come with side effects, which include erectile dysfunction. These include sildenafil (commonly known by the brand name Viagra), tadalafil (Cialis), vardenafil (Levitra) and avanafil (Stendra). Though its usually safe to take erectile dysfunction drugs (Viagra, Levitra, Cialis) with high blood pressure medication, don't take them with nitrates -- this can cause a life-threatening drop in blood pressure. Something to consider is some medication and new treatments need time for the body to adjust.

Your doctor may talk to you about alprostadil if oral medicines aren’t an option for you. Not talking about it is the main barrier to getting treatment. Men who have penile erections lasting longer than two to four hours should seek Emergency Room care. In many cases, yes, erectile dysfunction can be reversed. Research from 2020 notes that men with hypertension typically had lower levels of testosterone than men with normal or optimal blood pressure.

  • If you have high blood pressure, you usually don't have to live with a loss of sexual satisfaction.
  • Last year Professor Peter Sever, from Imperial College London, warned tens of thousands of people are dying every year about fears over statins’ side effects, calling for information about them to be removed from the pills’ packaging.
  • High blood pressure often has no signs or symptoms.
  • Semi-rigid Penile Prosthesis.
  • ED can be a strain on a couple, and many times the man’s partner is involved in the diagnosis and treatment of ED.

Frequently Asked Questions

About 30 per cent of patients with high blood pressure also reported erectile dysfunction, according to a 2020 US study. The success rate for getting an erection firm enough to have sex is as high as 85% with this treatment. Being unable to emotionally connect with a partner often results in guys being unable to physically connect. The study team found, however, that cholesterol-lowering statins and blood-pressure lowering candesartan/HCTZ do not negatively affect erectile function. Some high blood pressure medications are less likely to cause sexual side effects, such as:

(There is additional information on general classifications of medications commonly connected to erectile dysfunction.) It's best to take oral medications on an empty stomach 60 to 90 minutes before having sex. Circulatory problems could be indicated by an aneurysm. When it happens in the penis, there might not be enough blood to form an erection. Psychosocial examination. Another common cause of ED is prescription medication, and 5 drugs in particular have the biggest effect on libido. There are both direct effects and indirect effects of high blood pressure on erection quality and consistency. ACE inhibitors, calcium channel blockers, and alpha blockers can lower blood pressure with fewer risks of sexual side effects.

According to Research, these are some drugs that do NOT cause ED: In addition, men who take tadalafil or vardenfil should use alpha blockers with care and only as instructed by their physician, as they could result in hypotension (abnormally low blood pressure). What is the treatment for ED? Antidepressants (Not all of them!) You might be better off on a medication less likely to cause a problem. Many men who do not respond to oral PDE5 inhibitors can be ‘rescued' with ICI. Remind your healthcare provider of the medications you’re taking and explain any symptoms or side effects—like ED. With acquired premature ejaculation, the patient previously had successful coital relationships and only now has developed premature ejaculation.

Use these drugs as directed.

Popular in: Erectile Dysfunction/Premature Ejaculation

It is not clear why these blood pressure lowering medications can cause ED, but it reverses if a patient quits taking the drug. Before we get into the ways hypertension can indirectly affect erections, let’s look at the direct effects that it has on ED. Beta blockers. Don't just go off your medications, though; high blood pressure itself is a common cause of ED, so lowering your blood pressure is an important part of your ED treatment plan. What else is shockwave therapy used for?, unfortunately, there is only limited and inconsistent evidence that it works. Your doctor might recommend making changes to your lifestyle, or they may recommend using medication to regulate your blood pressure.

How do couples cope with ED? Losartan belongs to a relatively new class of drugs known as angiotensin II receptor antagonists. When you feel aroused, your brain signals to tissue in your penis. High blood pressure is often the cause. What is sexual dysfunction? There are specific treatments for some of the causes of erectile dysfunction. There are many different types and causes of ED.

Specific treatment for erectile dysfunction will be determined by your doctor based on: You will be trained by your health professional on how to inject, how much to inject and how to safely raise the drug's dosage if necessary. But researchers from McMaster University in Canada found no link between the drugs and impotence after monitoring more than 2,100 men. Diuretics can decrease forceful blood flow to the penis, making it difficult to achieve an erection. The patient's partner can help in the process of developing intimacy and stimulation.


If an underlying condition, such as diabetes, is causing ED, treating it will often reverse ED or prevent it from worsening. Many experts believe that when veins are the cause, a venous leak, or cavernosal failure, is the most common vascular problem. Because of this, good general health is closely correlated with better sexual performance. If you have heart problems, tell your doctor before taking any ED medicines. Secondary ED can be reversed and is often temporary. Sildenafil and vardenafil can cause these side effects:

Occasional erection trouble isn’t necessarily a cause for concern.

Here's the good news: Two types of implants are used to treat ED, including: Physical exam. The sexual side effects of these drugs have been difficult to tease out because many of the psychiatric conditions the drugs are used to treat are themselves associated with sexual problems.

Tadalfil has the same side effects, except for the flushing and possible changes in vision.

Review Date 1/31/2020

Also, a-adrenoceptor blockers such as doxazosin and tamulosin should only be combined with these erectile dysfunction medications under close monitoring by your doctor. Medical doctors agree! Perfect choice for the uninsured patient. Worrying about being unable to get an erection can actually lead to it happening more often. It’s called the penis.

One reason erectile dysfunction (ED) becomes more common with age is that older men are more likely to be on medication, and ED is often a side effect of many common drugs.

Patients use a fine needle to inject alprostadil (commonly known by the brand names Caverject Impulse and Edex) into the base or side of the penis. While you shouldn’t stop taking prescribed medications without consulting your healthcare provider, you can have a discussion about whether a particular drug is necessary in the first place, suggests Mills. Some research even suggests the effect of blood pressure drugs may be more psychological than physical. Melatonin, in doses from 3 milligrams to 10 milligrams before bedtime, for instance, sometimes helps to reestablish healthy sleep patterns. But you'll have to have a consultation with the pharmacist to make sure it's safe for you to take it.

If a patient has a systemic, skin, or urinary tract infection, this surgery should be postponed until all infections are treated. This can be done with a home blood pressure monitoring device for convenience. Access your patient portal, a number of related heart conditions are common causes of ED, including hypertension, dyslipidemia, atherosclerosis, heart disease and, among metabolic diseases, diabetes. To look for an underlying problem, such as: For some men, the decreased blood flow makes it difficult to achieve and maintain erections — often referred to as erectile dysfunction. It's also available from chemists.

Specialty Care

Whatever you choose, always make sure that your blood pressure is in line and in a safe range. Discuss pelvic floor physical therapy with a doctor to learn which exercises are most effective. How do hypertension medications affect sexuality? The more quickly and vigorously this health gauge responds—so to speak—the less a man has to worry about. Adverse effects, besides vision issues, there are serious side effects for all ED medications, especially if the man has existing heart, kidney or liver disease, is on a vasodilator containing nitrates, or if the patient has uncontrolled low or high blood pressure. To most men, getting an erection is something that happens naturally after some form of sexual stimulation and arousal. We definitely should research more on why tramadol erectile dysfunction can affect the body.

Health Solutions

However, they are not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Other men prefer to seek treatment without their partner's knowledge. Elderly men are especially sensitive to the effects of these medical treatments, which may increase their chance of having side effects. Drug-induced ED. This is not an indication of a security issue such as a virus or attack. Your body also signals to tissue around your penis to prevent blood from leaving the tissue, leading to a lasting erection.


Sexual boredom can also leave men limp. Sometimes, the drugs (like diuretics and beta-blockers) that are prescribed to treat high blood pressure can actually cause erectile dysfunction as a side-effect. What causes erectile dysfunction? In the past, ED was thought to be due to psychological problems. Penile implants are most often placed under anesthesia. ED is usually treatable with medication or surgery. With the implant, men can control firmness and, sometimes, the size of the erection. It's known that diuretics (or water pills, like hydrochlorothiazide) and beta-blockers (like Atenolol) can also cause erection problems.

Kochar MS et al. Most cases of ED occur in men who were previously able to sustain an erection. Antidepressants cause problems in all areas of sexual function, probably by blocking the action of three brain chemicals that relay signals between nerve cells:

The treatment for erectile dysfunction depends on what is causing it. The latest findings are published in the Canadian Journal of Cardiology. In rare cases, low testosterone causes ED. However, a person may be able to treat the underlying cause and reverse symptoms with no medication. These could suggest the cause of ED.

Modifying your lifestyle can also help.


Antipsychotics are used to treat schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and other serious psychiatric conditions. Sildenafil (brand name: )There may be additional drugs other than those on this list that can cause erection difficulties. These silicone rods give the man's penis the firmness needed for sexual penetration. Antipsychotics also are often prescribed “off-label” to treat agitation and depression, among other conditions. Erectile dysfunction is defined as the persistent inability to achieve or maintain penile erection sufficient for satisfactory sexual performance. Top photo products:, it is important to note that some OTC products claiming to be sexual enhancers often have not been tested or regulated by the FDA. The most common side effect of ICI therapy is a prolonged erection.

Low Testosterone

The doesn’t necessarily mean those men can avoid sexual dysfunction, however, according to the study in the Canadian Journal of Cardiology. The surgeon or health care expert in the surgeon's office will talk about how to inflate and deflate the implant. Language selection, but smoking does a lot of other bad things to your body, some of which are directly related to things that guys care a lot about:. The following medications may decrease sexual desire: What to do if you’re already on hypertension medications or considering taking them? It may also affect your muscle contraction.

Since the ICI erection is not regulated by your penile nerves, you should not be surprised if the erection lasts after orgasm.

High Blood Pressure and Sexual Performance

Two semi-rigid but bendable rods are placed in the erection chambers of the penis. Some medicines can affect libido (desire) and others can affect the ability to become aroused or achieve orgasm. When blood pressure is high, the artery walls take on more force. A good example of this is a patient taking beta blockers (such as propranolol) to prevent migraine headaches.

Key Points About Erectile Dysfunction

If erectile dysfunction (impotence) is caused by high blood pressure, then lowering blood pressure through medicines and lifestyle changes should treat the problem effectively. By asking patients more directly about their sexual function through conversation or a questionnaire during a checkup, doctors may be able to detect more serious health conditions sooner. ACE inhibitors: Failure to undo priapism will lead to permanent penile damage and untreatable ED. The loss of erectile capacity can have a profound effect on a man.


The medicines used to treat ED can have dangerous interactions with some common medicines. It's usually nothing to worry about, but you should see a GP if it keeps happening. When there isn’t enough blood flow to fill the corpora cavernosa, you might have trouble with getting and maintaining an erection. In rare cases, the drug Cialis® can cause or increase back pain or aching muscles in the back. The number of men involved in the study who reported impotence dropped from 75.

Many people believe taking medication for cholesterol or blood pressure comes with the side effect of erectile dysfunction. A patient will either go home on the same day or spend one night in the hospital. Doctors have identified two types of ED: Our general interest e-newsletter keeps you up to date on a wide variety of health topics. Can everyone use ED medications? In addition, men should not take these medications if they have a history of heart attack or stroke, or if they have a bleeding disorder or stomach ulcers.

Inflatable implants.

Work with your doctor on ways to lower your blood pressure without lowering your sex drive. The 12-week study of 164 men, all with hypertension, was divided into 2 groups of 82, one group with sexual dysfunction, the other group reported normal sexual functioning. I can't believe there wasn't a bad pun godzilla before now. Call your doctor right away if you take one of these medications and have a prolonged erection that lasts 4 hours or longer.

Over time, diabetes damages the nerves and blood vessels that power erections.


Still, the mind plays a big role in getting an erection. Ejaculation which always or nearly always occurs prior to or within about one minute of vaginal penetration. Overnight erection test to monitor erections during sleep. Herbal and alternative remedies Share on Pinterest Acupuncture may help to reverse ED. Start tonight with these saucy suggestions. The UF College of Nursing continually attracts and retains the highest caliber of nursing students and faculty with a passion for science and caring.

  • Like any learned behaviors, it can be unlearned.
  • This can restrict blood flow to the penis, which may then cause erectile dysfunction.
  • There are risks to prosthetic surgery and patients are counselled before the procedure.

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And rich oxygenated blood is the foundation of erections. Your surgeon may suggest a lubricant for your partner. When aroused, the brain sends signals to the nerve receptors in the body that increase blood flow to the penis which results in the pressure necessary to make it firm. This is done to help find psychological factors that may be affecting your performance. Another cause of erectile dysfunction men often overlook are the pills they pop. This may be used to help decrease the stress and anxiety that may be linked to sex. Recommendations of the Princeton Consensus Panel. These include cutting back on alcohol, quitting smoking, losing weight, and increasing physical activity.

What happens at your appointment The doctor or nurse will ask about your lifestyle and relationships, and any problems you might be having. Surgery, which can repair arteries carrying blood to the penis or veins that allow blood to leave the penis. It has been shown to work well in men of all ages, in men with diabetes, and in men who have had the surgical procedure called radical prostatectomy. In contrast, among those who were not told the drug's name or its side effects, only 3% said they experienced ED. Your partner wants to have sex. It’s just the nature of drug side effects. Your doctor can help you determine the cause.

There are several life threatening medical conditions and diseases caused by high blood pressure. Often they do not have any symptoms so it is a good idea to regularly check your blood pressure and keep it under control.

They also increase levels of the hormone prolactin, which can lead to ED, reduced libido and difficulties achieving orgasm. The study group of men without sexual dysfunction, the drug did not produce changes in sexual function or satisfaction. The surgeon will explain when and how much exercise to do during the healing period.