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What are the drugs that can cause Erectile dysfunction?

What are the drugs that can cause Erectile dysfunction?


Sexual dysfunction is a result of a variety of medical problems and treatments. Antihypertensives, antidepressants, antipsychotics, and antiandrogens are among the medications frequently implicated.

The doctor will be able to customise therapies for the patient and his or her partner by being aware of the potential for drug-induced sexual issues and their detrimental effects on adherence to treatment.

Good clinical treatment necessitates facilitating a conversation with the patient regarding sexual function and offering solutions to the issue.


Sexual dysfunction in both men and women is a result of several prescription drug groups. A patient’s likelihood of not adhering increases if they experience drug-induced sexual dysfunction. Antipsychotics and antihypertensives have been found to have this effect. Less information is known on female or couple problems, and the literature has emphasised male sexual disorders.

Alcohol, opioids, stimulants, and hallucinogens are examples of recreational drugs that can alter sexual function. Alcohol consumption has a short-term impact on sexual desire by lowering inhibitions, but it also lowers performance and delays climax and ejaculation. Contrary to what their spouses frequently describe, many substance users claim to have greater sexual function.

The phases of sexual desire, arousal, and orgasm make up sexual function. Any of these periods might be problematic for both men and women. A person’s partner may also be impacted by low desire, lack of swelling and lubrication in women, erectile dysfunction, premature, retrograde, or absent ejaculation, anorgasmia, and painful sex.

Medications resulting in Erectile dysfunction

You might want to start by looking in your medication cabinet if you are having trouble getting or keeping an erection. Many prescription and over-the-counter medications have the potential to cause erectile dysfunction. While these medications may be used to treat an illness or condition, they can also have an impact on a man’s hormones, nervous system, and blood circulation, which might lead to ED or raise the risk of ED.

Below is a list of medications that could result in ED. To rule out any medications as a cause of, or contributor to, ED, talk to your doctor about the medications you are now taking.

Medicine to lower blood pressure

Although all blood pressure drugs have the potential to result in erectile dysfunction, “diuretics” (sometimes known as “water pills”) are the most likely to do so. Following are a few blood pressure drugs that frequently result in ED:

  • Chlorothiazide, chlorthalidone, and hydrochlorothiazide are examples of thiazide diuretics.
  • Furosemide, Torsemide, and Ethacrynic Acid are examples of loop diuretics.
  • Spironolactone
  • Clonidine
  • Guanethidine
  • Methyldopa
  • Lastly, Beta-blockers, another class of heart medication, carry a negligible risk of ED. Popular medications such as metoprolol (Lopressor), atenolol (Tenormin), propranolol (Inderal), and bisoprolol are among them (Zebeta).

There is some good news if you take one of these drugs and experience ED. ED is not frequently brought on by the following blood pressure medications:

  • ACE inhibitors such as lisinopril, benazepril, enalapril, ramipril, quinapril, and ramipril
  • Alpha-blockers such as doxazosin, prazosin, and terazosin

Cholesterol-lowering drugs

Contrary to popular belief, statins (drugs used to decrease cholesterol) such as atorvastatin, simvastatin, and rosuvastatin do not result in ED. Self-reported erectile function for men with ED who take statins for elevated cholesterol really improves by 25%. It’s a win-win situation because the statin also promotes heart and then brain health.


Low sex drive and erectile dysfunction are frequently brought on by depression. However, a lot of antidepressants might worsen erectile dysfunction and low sex drive.

Examples of antidepressants that cause ED include the following:

  • SSRIs include sertraline, fluoxetine, citalopram (Celexa), escitalopram (Lexapro), fluoxetine (Prozac), and paroxetine (Paxil) (Zoloft)
  • SNRIs include duloxetine, venlafaxine, and desvenlafaxine (Effexor, Pristiq) (Cymbalta)
  • MAOIs include tranylcypromine, phenelzine, and isocarboxazid (Marplan) (Parnate)
  • Amitriptyline, nortriptyline, and clomipramine are examples of tricyclic and tetracyclic antidepressants.

The most often prescribed antidepressants and those that are most likely to result in ED are SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors). This is unfortunate because SSRIs are some of the best available antidepressants.

The following antidepressants have a lower risk of causing erectile dysfunction:

  • Bupropion (Zyban) (Zyban)
  • Mirtazapine (Remeron) (Remeron)
  • Patches for selegiline (Emsam)

Finally, discuss this with your doctor if you believe your antidepressant is contributing to erectile dysfunction.


Erectile dysfunction can also be brought on by antihistamines like Benadryl, Dramamine, and Phenergan. Histamine, a substance in the body that has a role in both allergic reactions and good erections, is blocked by antihistamines.

Acid reflux medications

Similar to antihistamines, some H2 blocker medications used to treat acid reflux can disrupt histamine and result in erectile dysfunction. Cimetidine (Tagamet), a medication in this class, carries the highest risk for ED, but ranitidine (Zantac) and famotidine (Pepcid) carry a lower risk.

Opioid pain medications

Opioids and ED go hand in hand as well. Long-term opiate use can cause low testosterone and erectile dysfunction. Medications that contain opioids include morphine, oxycodone, and hydrocodone.

Do not stop taking the medicine if you have ED and suspect it might be related to your prescription without first talking to your doctor. Your doctor might be able to recommend a different drug if the issue continues.

The following recreational and regularly misused drugs are among those that can induce or lead to ED:

  • Alcohol /Amphetamines
  • Barbiturates
  • Cocaine
  • Marijuana
  • Methadone
  • Nicotine /Opiates

ED is not frequently discussed, aside from the well-known negative effects that using and abusing these medicines can have. However, using these medications can result in ED. These medicines can seriously harm blood vessels and result in persistent ED in addition to affecting and frequently suppressing the central nervous system.


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How can some medications cause you erectile dysfunction?

How can some medications cause you erectile dysfunction?

What is Erectile dysfunction?

Erectile dysfunction is basically a disorder found in men which could be a sign of physical or psychological condition. The symptoms associated with this disorder is found in men’s reproductive organ i.e. inability to keep an erection firmer and longer enough during a sexual activity.

Erectile dysfunction is a treatable disorder which includes many possible methods such as natural remedies, alternative medicine, and prescription drugs. In this article, let us discuss about some faster ways to treat this disorder.

There are many men who experience erectile dysfunction occasionally because of stress, fatigue, alcohol, or emotional issues, but 25% of men have recurring episodes of the disorder. People dealing with erectile dysfunction will be:

  • Unable to achieve erection at anytime needed.
  • might achieve erection sometime but not when needed like during sexual activity.
  • might able to achieve erection when needed but not long enough

Causes of Erectile dysfunction

Arousal of male sexual desire is a complex process that involves the brain, hormones, emotions, nerves, muscles, and blood vessels. There are a number of conditions that can cause erectile dysfunction. Erectile dysfunction can also be caused or worsened by stress and mental health concerns.

The cause of erectile dysfunction can be a combination of physical and psychological factors. The anxiety surrounding maintaining an erection might be caused by a minor physical condition that slows your sexual response. A person experiencing anxiety may suffer from erectile dysfunction or have it worsened.

Can medicines cause Erectile dysfunction?

There are several factors that can cause or contribute to erectile dysfunction. As an example, a person might take medications. There is a possibility that medicines that affect the blood flow to the sexual organs and the sex drive may increase the risk of Erectile Dysfunction.

In older men, it is more likely that they are taking some kind of medication, which contributes to erectile dysfunction. An estimated 25% of cases of ED are related to medication side effects, according to the Harvard Special Health Report on Erectile Dysfunction.

Take a look at your medicine cabinet if you are having problems achieving or maintaining an erection. Erectile dysfunction may be caused by many prescription medications and over-the-counter medications. Despite the fact that these drugs may be used to treat certain disorders, they can also affect a man’s hormones, nerves, or blood circulation, which can result in ED or increase the risk of it.

Medicines that may cause Erectile dysfunction

1. Blood pressure medicines

Usually, people with heart disease are more likely to take blood pressure medicines. The most common type of medicine that may lead to erectile dysfunction are blood pressure medicine, especially the water pills. Some blood pressure medications that commonly cause ED incudes:

  • Thiazide diuretics like chlorothiazide, chlorthalidone and hydrochlorothiazide
  • Loop diuretics like furosemide, torasemide and ethacrynic acid
  • Spironolactone
  • Clonidine
  • Guanethidine
  • Methyldopa

Beta-blockers, another type of heart medicine, have a small risk of ED. Some of these drugs include metoprolol (Lopressor), atenolol (Tenormin), propranolol (Inderal) and bisoprolol (Zebeta). These medications aren’t all bad for people with ED who take them. 

2. Antidepressants

There is a strong correlation between depression and low sexual drive and erectile dysfunction. The problem with many antidepressants is that they can cause low sexual drive and erectile dysfunction, or worsen them.  Some of such antidepressants include:

  • SSRIs: citalopram (Celexa), escitalopram (Lexapro), fluoxetine (Prozac), paroxetine (Paxil), sertraline (Zoloft)
  • SNRIs: venlafaxine (Effexor), desvenlafaxine (Pristiq), duloxetine (Cymbalta)
  • MAOIs: isocarboxazid (Marplan), phenelzine (Nardil), tranylcypromine (Parnate)
  • Tricyclic and tetracyclic antidepressants: amitriptyline, nortriptyline, clomipramine

Antidepressants such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are the most commonly prescribed and most likely to cause ED. However, they are the most effective medications against depression.

Some of the antidepressants that are less likely to cause ED includes:

  • Bupropion (Zyban)
  • Mirtazapine (Remeron)
  • Selegiline patches (Emsam)

3. Antihistamines

Antihistamines like Benadryl, Dramamine, and Phenergan can also cause erectile dysfunction. The action of antihistamines is to block the release of histamine from the body, a chemical that is involved in allergic reactions and healthy erections.

4. Acid reflux medications

In the same way as antihistamines, certain acid reflux drugs called H2 blockers may also inhibit histamine production and lead to erectile dysfunction. This class of drugs is characterized by the highest risk for ED of cimetidine (Tagamet), and the lowest risk for ED of ranitidine (Zantac) and famotidine (Pepcid).

5. Opioid pain medications

There is also a connection between opioids and ED. Low testosterone levels and erectile dysfunction are possible side effects of long-term opioid use. The three most common opioid medications are hydrocodone, oxycodone, and morphine.

6. Antiepileptics

It is common for patients on antiepileptic drugs to experience sexual dysfunction. It has been reported that gabapentin and topiramate are associated with orgasmic dysfunction in both men and women, and reduced libido in women.

7. Immunosuppressants

An immunosuppressant reduces the immune system’s activity. It is usually given to the person to help control an autoimmune condition or during organ transplant surgery to prevent organ rejection. A potential side effects of this drug category is impaired sexual function. Medicines include:

  • sirolimus
  • everolimus
  • tacrolimus
  • cyclosporine

Always inform the doctor if you notice any medication causing you erectile dysfunction. The medication might be discontinued or other method could to be used to counter ED along with ongoing medical condition.

The above list and categories of medicine are not every possible medication that must be taken of to prevent ED. However, if you are dealing with ED, there is 25% chance that it is caused due to your meds. If you think that your meds are causing you erectile dysfunction, it is always advisable to speak about it to your doctor.


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