When people think of the causes of erectile dysfunction, they typically think of old age.
However, one of the risk factors of erectile dysfunction many people overlook that can affect someone of any age are certain drugs and medications.
If you’ve suddenly started having difficulty achieving or sustaining a satisfying erection during sexual intercourse, a good place to start looking is the medications you are taking.
Surprisingly, 8 of the 12 most commonly prescribed medications can cause ED, the most common being blood pressure medicine.
[Read our article, How To Help Someone With Erectile Dysfunction.]
In the article below, we will discuss prescription, over-the-counter (OTC), recreational, illegal drugs, and other drugs that can cause or contribute to erectile dysfunction.
What is ED?
Erectile dysfunction is having regular difficulty getting or maintaining an erection for satisfying sex.
Every man may have difficulty once in a while, but having frequent difficulty is when you may have erectile dysfunction.
This is often a sign there’s something else going on inside.
Sometimes erectile dysfunction can be caused by low testosterone levels. Other risk factors are psychological issues or performance anxiety.
The same things that cause erectile dysfunction can also cause heart problems and problems with blood vessels.
If you have erectile dysfunction, there’s a chance you may have a heart problem or vice versa.
Many people with heart disease will take blood pressure medicine, which is the most common medication to cause erectile dysfunction.
But in addition to blood pressure drugs, many other medications can increase your risk of erectile dysfunction. We’ll discuss them below.
High Blood Pressure Medications Can Cause ED
We’ll start with what we’ve already touched on.
If you have hypertension, erectile dysfunction is often a catch-22 situation.
High blood pressure can lead to ED by causing arteries to harden and narrow, limiting blood flow to the penis.
But treating it with blood pressure medications can affect erections by lowering the blood pressure and the volume of blood entering the penis.
There are several types of blood pressure medications, including ACE inhibitors, angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs), beta-blockers, alpha-blockers, calcium channel blockers, diuretics, or water pills.
Any of these antihypertensive drugs can contribute to ED.
Antidepressants and Psychiatric Drugs
Antidepressants and other psychiatric drugs have well-known sexual side effects.
Antidepressants alter the levels of the hormone serotonin, so they can cause an imbalance of other hormones that regulate sexual function.
This includes testosterone, which influences sexual arousal, sex drive, the ability to achieve an erection, and dopamine, which plays a role in orgasms.
Other psychiatric drugs that can cause erection problems are anxiolytics (anti-anxiety drugs) and antipsychotics.
Antihistamines Can Cause Erectile Dysfunction
Many people are surprised to learn that antihistamine medicines like Benadryl, Dramamine, and Phenergan also cause erectile dysfunction.
Antihistamines are meant to block the action of histamine, a chemical in the body involved in healthy erections and allergic reactions.
Opioids are powerful narcotic drugs used to treat pain with a laundry list of harmful side effects.
One of the most common side effects of opioid drugs is ED.
Opioids cause ED by impairing signals between the testes, pituitary gland, and hypothalamus of the brain.
Blocking this communication can lead to a steep drop in testosterone, increasing your risk of erection problems or reduced fertility.
Acid Reflux Medications
Certain acid reflux drugs known as H2 blockers can also affect histamine and cause erectile dysfunction.
The acid reflux medication called cimetidine has the highest risk for ED.
Other acid reflux drugs like ranitidine and famotidine have a lower risk.
Other Causes Of Erectile Dysfunction
This list isn’t all-inclusive, and there are additional drugs that can cause ED that we haven’t talked about, like certain chemotherapy drugs.
And in addition to medications, there are other causes of ED.
- Physical conditions like heart disease we talked about above, as well as diabetes, hormonal disorders, nerve disorders, trauma, or surgery in your pelvis, can cause ED.
- Stress, relationship difficulties, depression, anxiety, worry about sexual performance, and other emotional issues can cause ED.
- The abuse of alcohol and nicotine can lead to erectile dysfunction.
- Recreational drugs like marijuana, cocaine, heroin, methadone, amphetamines, and barbiturates are also risk factors of ED.
Visit ChoiceMen’s Health Erectile Dysfunction Clinic Today!
The above is by no means an exhaustive list of medications that can cause ED. If you’ve experienced this condition it’s time to visit an erectile dysfunction clinic.
Erectile Dysfunction Clinics specialize in diagnosing and treating erectile dysfunction, no matter what the cause.
Many clinics can also treat other sexual health issues you may be dealing with, like premature ejaculation and low testosterone.
If you’re one of the tens of millions of men affected by ED, you need to visit a healthcare professional that specializes in erectile dysfunction.
Let them know if you’ve started any new medications, and they can work to design effective treatments to help get you back in the bedroom.
Erectile dysfunction is a common condition that many men face, and despite the stigma associated with it, it is a treatable condition. There are alternative treatments that can help you and your partner reconnect.
If you have any other questions about erectile dysfunction, ChoiceMen’ss Health is the top erectile dysfunction clinic in Atlanta that has been helping men have great sex again.