Eight of the 12 most commonly prescribed medications today are known to cause ED.
If you’ve started a new medication, like blood pressure medication, and you have symptoms of ED, ask yourself and your doctor if you need to take that medication or if you can switch to another medication that won’t impair erectile function.
That’s the easiest fix, but sometimes that doesn’t work.
(Check out our article, How Long Does A Normal Erection Last.)
In the article below, we will discuss common ways to treat ED caused by medication.
What is Erectile Dysfunction?
ED is a sexual dysfunction described as the inability to achieve or maintain an erection that will satisfy them or a sexual partner.
It is the most common sex problem that men report to their doctor and affects about 30 million men.
It’s common for men to have some problems with erections from time to time.
However, ED is when the problems with sexual function become worse. It happens routinely with sex.
This is not normal, and it should be treated.
Diagnosis Erectile Dysfunction
If you think you’re suffering from ED due to prescription drugs or drug therapy, the first thing your doctor will do is rule out any medications as the cause of your ED.
If it is discovered that medication is causing your ED, your doctor will lower the dosage or find an alternative drug to use.
However, if changing your medications doesn’t work, your doctor will use a physical exam and review of your medical history to diagnose erectile dysfunction and recommend a treatment.
If you have chronic health conditions or an underlying condition might be to blame, you might need further testing.
Testing for ED might include:
- A physical examination includes a careful examination of your penis and testicles. Your doctor will also check your nerves for sensation or nerve damage.
- Blood tests are sent to a lab to check for signs of heart disease, diabetes, low testosterone levels, or other health conditions.
- Urine tests are also used to look for signs of diabetes and other underlying health conditions.
- An ultrasound is performed by a specialist in an office. An ultrasound will create a video image to let your doctor see if you have blood flow problems.
- Your doctor may also perform a psychological exam and ask questions to screen for depression and other possible mental health conditions that may be a psychological factor that causes erectile dysfunction.
Causes Of ED
If your ED isn’t caused by drugs prescribed to you for medical conditions, several other things can be causing it.
ED happens most often when blood flow in the penis is limited, or nerves are harmed.
Stress or emotional issues can also make it hard to keep an erection firm.
Erectile dysfunction can also be a warning sign of a more severe health condition, like atherosclerosis, heart disease, high blood pressure, or high blood sugar from diabetes.
Finding the cause of your ED will help your doctors treat the problem and improve your overall well-being.
Other known risk factors and causes of ED are:
- Heart conditions
- High blood sugar or diabetes
- High blood pressure
- Cardiovascular disease
- High cholesterol
- Vascular disease
- Drugs or alcohol
- A sedentary lifestyle
- Performance anxiety
If you’re experiencing erectile dysfunction and are dealing with a risk factor from the list above, having a conversation with your doctor can help catch a serious medical condition and help you find treatment for erectile dysfunction.
Medications That Can Cause Erectile Dysfunction
Erectile dysfunction is a common side effect of several over-the-counter drugs and prescription drugs like blood pressure medications.
Even though these medications may treat a disease or condition, they also affect a man’s hormones, nerves, blood circulation, or even their levels of testosterone, resulting in ED or increasing the risk of ED.
If you experience ED and think it might be because of your medication, never stop taking the medication without first talking to your doctor.
Contact your doctor and discuss your concerns, and they may be able to prescribe a different medication.
Common medications that may list ED as a potential side effect include:
- Muscle relaxants
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
- Histamine H2-receptor antagonists
- Chemotherapy medications
- Prostate cancer drugs
- Anti-seizure medications
- Diuretics (to increase urine flow)
- Antihypertensives (blood pressure medicine)
- Parkinson’s disease drugs
- Antiarrhythmics (a drug for irregular heart action)
In addition to prescription medications, other substances that can cause or increase your risk of ED include these recreational and frequently abused drugs:
- Other recreational drugs
These drugs can affect and suppress the central nervous system, but they can also cause serious damage to the blood vessels, leading to impaired sexual performance and permanent ED.
Medications and ED
The medications we listed above are not an exhaustive list of all the medicines that can cause erectile dysfunction.
If you have ED, there is a 25% chance it could be caused by medication.
If you think your medications might be causing your sexual dysfunction, schedule an appointment with your doctor.
Treatment For Erectile Dysfunction Caused By Medications
If switching your medications doesn’t cure your ED, you still have other treatment options available depending on the erectile dysfunction cause, severity, and any unknown health conditions.
Your doctor will explain the risks and benefits of each treatment and help answer any additional questions you may have.
Oral medications are useful medical treatments for many men suffering from ED.
- Adcirca, Cialis
- Levitra, Staxyn
These medications enhance the effects of nitric oxide.
Nitric oxide is a natural chemical produced by your body to relax muscles in the penis.
This increases blood flow and makes achieving and maintaining an erection in response to sexual stimulation easier.
A vacuum erection device called a penis pump is a hollow tube with a hand-powered or battery-powered pump.
You place the vacuum tube on your penis and use the pump to suck out the air inside the tube.
This vacuum device helps pulls blood into your penis.
When you get an erection, slip a tension ring around the base of your penis to keep it firm.
Remove the vacuum, and your sexual arousal will typically last long enough for sex.
A penile implant s a surgical procedure that places devices into both sides of the penis.
These implants consist of inflatable or malleable rods.
Inflatable implants will allow you to control when and how long you have an erection.
Malleable rods help your penis stay firm but bendable.
Penile implants are used as a last resort after all other methods have been tried first.
Penile implant surgery has a risk of complications like any other surgery.
Recent studies have found that exercise and physical activity can improve sexual dysfunction.
Moderate to vigorous aerobic activity and even less strenuous regular exercise can reduce the risk of erectile dysfunction.
Exercise for erectile dysfunction will also increase your overall well-being.
Always discuss a new exercise plan with your doctor.
If your erectile dysfunction is caused by a psychological condition like stress, anxiety, depression, sexual performance anxiety, or other mental health concerns, a psychologist or counselor may be able to help.
You should also seek couples therapy if your condition creates stress and relationship tension between you and your partner.
Lifestyle and Home Remedies
There are also several things you can do on your own at home that will lower the risks of erectile dysfunction.
Here are a few things to do:
- Quit Smoking. This isn’t always easy, but you can try nicotine replacement or ask a medical professional about medications that may help you stop smoking.
- Losing Weight. If you’re obese or overweight, this can cause or worsen erectile dysfunction.
- Stay Active. Exercise or just a brisk walk around the neighborhood can help with underlying conditions that play a part in erectile dysfunction in several ways. Daily physical activity is good no matter what.
- Get treatment for alcohol or drug problems. Erection trouble can be caused by recreational drugs as well. Get the help you need.
- Tackle relationship issues. Relationship issues are one of the psychological factors that can cause ED. Consider couples counseling or working through problems on your own.
Choice Men’s Health Can Help With Your Erectile Dysfunction
If you think a new medication is causing your ED, it’s time to see a doctor.
If you’ve tried changing your medications to no avail, there are still options for you.
Once a doctor has diagnosed you with ED, it can be treated so you can lead a happier, healthier life.
If you have questions about erectile dysfunction, Choice Men’s Health in Atlanta, Georgia, has been helping men have great sex.
Make an appointment with our ED Specialists to start treatment today. They have the best treatments for erectile dysfunction that can help you reconnect with your partner.