HomeHealthWhat are the medications that cause erectile dysfunction?

What are the medications that cause erectile dysfunction?

Erectile dysfunction (ED) is a common condition, affecting men of all ages. It’s not just a problem for older men. Erectile dysfunction can occur at any age and in younger men, although it’s more common among older men.

If you have any questions about erectile dysfunction, it’s important to speak with your doctor. He or she will be able to assess your condition and help you determine the best treatment option for you.

There are several medications that may cause erectile dysfunction in some men. These include:



Antidepressants are a common cause of erectile dysfunction. The most common culprits are selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), which include Prozac, Paxil, and Zoloft. These drugs work by increasing the amount of the neurotransmitter serotonin available in the brain; they do this by blocking the body’s natural processes for removing serotonin from synapses (the spaces between nerve cells). Because these medications affect the way that your brain processes information, they can also cause problems with sexual function, including erectile dysfunction.

If you’re taking an antidepressant, talk to your doctor about switching to another drug if you have difficulty getting or maintaining an erection.



Antihistamines are a class of medications that block histamine, a compound in the body that triggers allergies and other inflammatory responses. Histamine is released during an allergic reaction and causes the release of chemicals that cause inflammation, redness and swelling. Antihistamines can be used to treat hay fever, asthma, hives and other allergic reactions.

There are two types of antihistamines: first-generation and second-generation. The first-generation drugs (e.g., diphenhydramine and brompheniramine) were developed before second-generation drugs (e.g., loratadine). First-generation antihistamines are sedating and can cause drowsiness, but they also have side effects like dry mouth, blurred vision, constipation or diarrhea.

Second-generation antihistamines don’t have as many potential side effects as first generation drugs because they don’t cause drowsiness or dry mouth as much as first generation drugs do. They also work better than first generation drugs in treating seasonal allergies because they’re less likely to cause drowsiness or dry mouth when taken on an ongoing basis for longer periods of time (like throughout allergy season).


Blood pressure medications

Blood pressure medications, such as beta-blockers, alpha-blockers, and diuretics (water pills), can cause erectile dysfunction. These medications are used to treat high blood pressure and heart disease.


Beta blockers

Beta blockers (also called beta-adrenergic blocking agents) work by blocking the effects of adrenaline and noradrenaline on your blood vessels, heart and lungs. They’re used to treat high blood pressure and some types of irregular heartbeat.



Alpha blockers (also called alpha-adrenergic blocking agents) work by relaxing the muscles in your blood vessels. They’re often used to treat high blood pressure but can also be prescribed for anxiety or other conditions.



Diuretics (also called water pills) help your kidneys eliminate more water from your body than they normally would, which helps lower your blood pressure. Diuretics include furosemide (Lasix), hydrochlorothiazide (Microzide), spironolactone (Aldactone), triamterene/hydrochlorothiazide (Dyazide/Maxzide), amiloride/hydrochlorothiazide.


Heart medications

If you have heart problems, there are certain medications that you should avoid if you want to avoid erectile dysfunction.

Cardiac glycosides: These drugs, which include digoxin, digitoxin and ouabain, are used to treat heart failure. They slow down the heart’s pumping action. If taken by someone who has a history of erectile dysfunction, they can worsen it.

Beta blockers: These drugs work to reduce blood pressure and slow the heart rate. They’re most often prescribed to people with hypertension or high cholesterol levels. People who take beta blockers may experience erectile dysfunction as a side effect of these medications.


The following medications are known to cause erectile dysfunction:


-Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors, such as enalapril, lisinopril, and ramipril. These drugs help lower your blood pressure and are used to treat high blood pressure (hypertension), congestive heart failure, and diabetic kidney disease.


-Angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARBs), such as candesartan cilexetil and valsartan. They work by reducing the amount of blood that returns to your heart from your body. ARBs are used to treat high blood pressure (hypertension) and heart failure.


-Beta blockers, such as metoprolol succinate ER tablets. These drugs help lower your blood pressure and are used to treat high blood pressure (hypertension), angina pectoris (chest pain caused by reduced blood flow to the heart), abnormal heart rhythms (arrhythmias), or certain types of heart failure.


-Calcium channel blockers, such as verapamil hydrochloride capsules or diltiazem hydrochloride extended-release capsules. These drugs work by blocking calcium channels in the heart and smooth muscle throughout the body.


Prescription opioid painkillers

Prescription opioid painkillers are the most common cause of erectile dysfunction, according to the American Urological Association.

Opioids include OxyContin, Percocet, Vicodin and codeine. The drugs affect the nervous system, affecting how you feel pleasure and pain. They also affect the brain’s ability to release nitric oxide, which is needed for an erection.

If you’re taking prescription opioids and have ED, talk with your doctor about switching to a different medication or tapering off them altogether.


Chemotherapy drugs

Chemotherapy drugs can have a wide range of effects on the body. Some of these are short-term, and others are long-term. One of the most common long-term effects is erectile dysfunction.

Chemotherapy drugs work by killing cancer cells in the body. They do this by interfering with their ability to divide and multiply, which is what allows them to grow out of control and form tumors. Unfortunately, chemotherapy also kills healthy cells in your body that are dividing quickly, like those present in your skin, hair follicles, mouth lining, intestines, and more.

The more aggressive your treatment plan is, the more likely you are to experience side effects like erectile dysfunction.


Cancer drugs

There are many medications that can cause erectile dysfunction, or ED. These include a variety of cancer drugs, as well as drugs that treat heart disease, high cholesterol, and other conditions.

ED is a condition in which a man has trouble getting or keeping an erection during sexual activity. It’s common for men to experience ED at some point in their lives; about half of all men over age 40 experience some degree of it at least once in their lifetime.

There are many different types of cancer medications that can cause ED. These include:

  • Chemotherapy drugs (such as cisplatin)
  • Gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonists (such as leuprolide acetate)
  • Radiation therapy drugs (such as cabazitaxel)
  • Androgen deprivation therapy (ADT), which blocks testosterone production and can cause impotence in men



In conclusion, erectile dysfunction is a problem that can be caused by a variety of medications. These include antidepressants, blood pressure medications, and diabetes medications. If you are taking any of these medications and are experiencing erectile dysfunction, you should speak with your doctor about alternative treatments or adjusting your medication dosage.


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