A staggering amount of men across the globe are afflicted by a sexual epidemic known as erectile dysfunction (ED)—a condition wherein they can’t form an erection despite sexual arousal.
For the vast majority of patients, the underlying cause of ED lies in prior chronic health conditions—heart disease, mental health disorders, neurological disease, and the like.
However, did you know that some drugs cause erectile dysfunction too?
Indeed, some prescription drugs can impair regular sexual function and cause men to lose their sexual prowess at a moment’s notice.
And unlike treating chronic health conditions where there’s a clear avenue to recovery—it’s not entirely straightforward for people with medication-induced ED to simply stop taking their drug, as this may negatively interfere with other facets of their health.
With that said, you may be wondering: what over-the-counter drugs or recreational drugs cause a decline in erectile function?
In this article, let’s take a look at some drugs that could be contributing to your worsening erectile state, and what alternative ED treatments are there to help you maintain your sexual wellness.
What Are the Signs of ED?
Nearly 20% of the world population has erectile dysfunction, making it the most common sexual dysfunction that men face today. To add to this, ED affects nearly half of all men aged 40-70 years to some degree.
Given that fact, it’s more important than ever to be watchful of your health. While erectile dysfunction primarily develops with age, poor health factors can also contribute to declining penile health.
It’s important to know whether what you’re suffering from is erectile dysfunction or not. A temporary inability to be sexually aroused can appear similar to ED, but the latter is something that affects a man at least 50% of the time for a month-long period or more.
If you suspect that you have this condition, it’s essential to seek treatment for it with the guidance of a medical professional.
8 Classes of Drugs That Cause Erectile Dysfunction
Here are eight drug types that can be bad for your erections.
1. High Blood Pressure Drugs
High blood pressure is a condition that can damage the blood vessels, which can subsequently cause erectile problems in the future.
That said, blood pressure medications and beta blockers also hurt a man’s sexual ability. This is because, at their core, these drugs work to reduce blood volume around the body. This can in turn lead to reduced blood flow in the erectile chambers, keeping it flaccid.
Drugs that may affect erectile quality include Metoprolol, Nifedipine, Enalapril, Atenolol, Furosemide, Guanfacine, Hydrochlorothiazide, Bumetanide, Methyldopa, Clonidine, Captopril, Verapamil, Triamterene, Labetalol, Propranolol, Benazepril, Hydralazine, Chlorthalidone, Phenoxybenzamine, and Spironolactone.
2. Anti-Anxiety Drugs and Antidepressants
Antidepressants fall under the category of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, which are medically proven to have several associations with sexual side effects.
These types of drugs artificially increase serotonin levels in the brain, causing an imbalance in testosterone and neurotransmitter production and signaling.
Antidepressant drugs that fall under this category include Oxazepam, Lorazepam, Diazepam, Desipramine, Clomipramine, Phenytoin, Clorazepate, Imipramine, Sertraline, Fluoxetine, Doxepin, Tranylcypromine, Nortriptyline, Amoxipine, Buspirone, Phenelzine, Chlordiazepoxide, Amitriptyline, and Isocarboxazid.
Histamine acts as a neurotransmitter that aids in facilitating erections. Antihistamines, as the name implies, block histamine action. It also has anti-androgen properties which can lead to a reduction of testosterone levels.
If you’re taking any of the following drugs, you may experience ED as a side effect: Dimenhydrinate, Meclizine, Hydroxyzine, Promethazine, and Diphenhydramine.
4. Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs
Also known as NSAIDs, these prescription medications inhibit the production of prostaglandin, which is a crucial regulator that’s responsible for dilating blood vessels.
When blood vessels are narrowed, this can cause less blood to flow to the penis, causing ED. Naproxen and Indomethacin are some NSAIDs that may cause ED symptoms.
5. Parkinson’s Disease Medications
Medications such as Benztropine, Bromocriptine, Carbidopa-Levodopa, and Trihexyphenidyl can lead to heightened feelings of apathy, leading to a decreased willingness to engage in sex for pleasure.
6. Chemotherapy Drugs
Furthermore, prostate cancer drugs like Flutamide and Leuprolide can also lead to erectile dysfunction.
Amiodarone and ibutilide can cause ED and patients who are under this drug need to be examined closely by a medical professional.
8. Recreational Drugs
Frequently abused drugs like alcohol, cocaine, marijuana, heroin and other medications that are taken without prescription can lead to a rapid decline of health, including a worsening sexual ability.
I Take These Medications. Now What?
Taking any of the drugs mentioned above? Before anything else, don’t immediately alter your prescription, especially if you’re battling another diagnosis. It’s strongly recommended to consult guidance of a medical professional to first confirm that your problem is erectile dysfunction.
Once it’s confirmed, they may require you to do any of the following:
- They’ll wean you off the drug safely.
- They’ll switch you to a different medication to improve sexual function.
From there, they’ll watch over your health closely and see whether your health outcomes are improving or not.
Natural Interventions to Counteract Drug-Induced ED
Erectile dysfunction is best treated in a clinical environment with the proper therapies, namely erectile dysfunction therapy and the highly-effective wave therapy also known as RestoreWave therapy.
That said, there are things you can do at home to help you manage the condition. These are:
- Eat a healthy diet
- Sleeping at least 7 hours a night
- Managing your stressors
- Getting adequate exercise
By doing these habits, you can reduce your risk of developing ED and improve your health along the way.
Improve Your Sexual Health at Ft. Lauderdale, Florida’s Top Male Clinic
Taking certain medications can inadvertently be causing a slew of lower urinary tract symptoms. But don’t think for a second that you can only have one or the other.
By getting the proper treatment from medically-licensed professionals at a local men’s clinic such as Preferred Men’s Medical Center, we can help you manage and overcome your condition.
Schedule a consultation with us today, your initial consultation and first treatment are completely free.