Many of us need take prescription drugs for one reason or another. In reality, 131 million American adults (about 66% of the population) take at least one prescription medication a day. Most of these drugs treat five common chronic conditions: heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, arthritis and cancer. And while medications for these conditions often have undesirable side effectstheir advantages tend to outweigh their disadvantages.
However, if you’re male and taking medication for a common health condition, you could increase your risk of erectile dysfunction (ED). Read on to find out which drugs can cause erectile dysfunction, so you can avoid potentially awkward (and embarrassing) encounters in the bedroom.
Sexual dysfunction can manifest in many ways.
It’s no secret that drugs come with side effects, many of which impact your sexual health. Common symptoms of sexual dysfunction caused by prescription and over-the-counter drugs include low libido, impotence, lack of arousal, inability to reach orgasm and pain during intercourse. And the more medications you take, the higher your risk of sexual dysfunction increases.
Sexual dysfunction is defined as “persistent and recurring problems with sexual response, desire, orgasm, or pain – that distress you or strain your relationship with your partner”, reports the Mayo Clinic. Common prescription medications that affect sexual health include antidepressants, anti-anxiety medications, opioid pain relievers, steroids, and beta-blockers.
Taking this medicine can cause erectile dysfunction.
If you are a man with high blood pressure and suffer from erectile dysfunction, the medications you take to treat your high blood pressure could be the cause of your impotence. About 25% of all ED cases are caused by high blood pressure medications, according to Harvard Medical School. However, while several types of blood pressure medication exist, not all of them affect sexual function.
“The blood pressure medication most often implicated in erectile dysfunction is a class of drugs called beta-blockers,” explains Laura PurdyMD, MBA, A certified family doctor at Fort Benning, Georgia. “These drugs can slow the heart rate and prevent the body from achieving and maintaining erections.”
The good news is that if you have erectile dysfunction from beta-blockers, you can ask your doctor about other blood pressure medications that don’t affect your ability to function in bed. “If a patient has erectile dysfunction, it’s perfectly acceptable to offer them other types of blood pressure medications,” Purdy says.
Beta-blockers reduce blood flow.
We think that half of American adults have high blood pressure and nearly 92 million people take some form of blood pressure medication. Beta-blockers are one of the most widely prescribed among these high blood pressure medications in America. According to a 2021 study published in Frontiers in Cardiovascular Medicinebeta-blockers are associated with reduced blood flow, fatigue, low libido and sexual dysfunction. Another study published in Vascular health and risk management in 2020 noted that among 1,007 adult men who took beta-blockers for at least six months, 71% said they had erectile dysfunction.
If you’re looking for ways to treat erectile dysfunction yourself, Purdy advises, “Make sure you have all your medical issues under control. For example, diabetes, sleep apnea, high blood pressure, and others. medical issues need to be addressed and optimized for management.Other drugs, such as sildenafil and Viagra, can treat erectile dysfunction, even in men with high blood pressure.
For more health news delivered straight to your inbox, Subscribe to our daily newsletter.
Know when to see a doctor for your ED.
If erectile dysfunction has become an intrusive and persistent problem in your life or is negatively affecting your relationship with your partner, consider seeing your health care provider. “Intermittent, situational, or occasional erectile dysfunction can be considered normal and a common experience for men. But when it happens repeatedly each time, or if there is pain or other changes in the penis level, immediate medical attention is advised,” Purdy said. said.
Like most other medical conditions, adopting healthy lifestyle habits can reduce your risk of developing erectile dysfunction. Common modifiable risk factors for erectile dysfunction include smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and depression. A healthy and balanced diet associated with regular physical activity is a recipe for combating high blood pressure and sexual dysfunctions and add years to your life.
Best Life offers the most up-to-date information from top experts, new research and health agencies, but our content is not intended to replace professional advice. Always consult your health care provider directly regarding any medications you are taking or any other health questions you have.