Drugs That Induce Erectile Dysfunction

Drugs That Induce Erectile Dysfunction

What is erectile dysfunction?

Erectile dysfunction is the most common male sexual problem in which the male partner is unable to get or maintain his erection to perform or complete the act of sexual intercourse.

Almost all men face this problem at some point in their life, due to stress, relationship difficulties, anxiety etc.; however; if any one experiences erectile dysfunction more frequently than it is a matter of concern and require prompt medical treatment. Erectile dysfunction can be a sign of an underlying health problem as well.

According to the Department of Health and Human Service, around 30 million males suffer from erectile dysfunction in the US alone.

Sometimes erectile dysfunction can be a side effect of different medication or illicit drug abuse.

Drugs that can cause or worsen erectile dysfunction in male:

Most medications, when consumed in moderate to high dose can cause some side effects such as nausea, vomiting, headache etc. Typically, these side effects resolve on their own but sometime these drugs can cause serious and long-term problems.

There are many drugs that may impact male sexual health and sexual performance. So, if you are facing difficulty in keeping or attaining erection while taking a particular medicine, you should immediately consult your doctor since, at times these medicine causes life intimidating reactions and immediate action is required.

It is not necessary that a particular drug cause erectile dysfunction in all users. However, it is essential to learn about the most common drugs that are associated with erectile dysfunction in some men.

The common drug causes erectile dysfunction includes:


Depression or stress is one of the biggest risk factors that can present with erectile dysfunction in men. But ironically some medications that are prescribed to treat depression can also cause erectile dysfunction. For example, a class of antidepressant – SSRIs (or selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors) is associated with causing erectile dysfunction in 60 percent of the male population who take SSRIs for depression management. The drugs under this class includes Zoloft, Prozac etc.  It is believed that these drugs causes negative impact on the neurotransmitter functions which ultimately affects the sexual life of person.

Beta blockers:

Beta blockers are the drugs that are used to treat high blood pressure in patients. According to Landon Trost, Head of Andrology and Male Infertility at Mayo Clinic, the beta blockers significantly impact the erectile functions in men. These drugs also impact the performance of neurotransmitter specially Adrenaline or Epinephrine. It is also believed that these drugs adversely impact nervous system that maintains erection in males.


This medicine is prescribed to treat hair loss in males. According to Jess N. Mills, Associate Professor of Urology at the University of California, about 10 percent men using this drug experiences reduced testosterone levels and libido.


These pharmacological agents are prescribed to manage allergy related symptoms. The antihistamines like Benadryl and Dramamine also causes erectile dysfunction in males. These drugs adversely impact the nervous system responses that are needed to maintain erection. However, the side effects are temporary and ceases after stopping this drug.

H2 blockers:

H2 blockers are used to treat duodenal ulcers or gastric ulcers. Their overconsumption adversely impacts male sexual health by lowering the sperm count and causing erectile dysfunction in males.


In order to treat anxiety, lack of sleep or insomnia, seizures etc. this drug is prescribed. However, the side effect of using this class of drugs is erectile dysfunction and low libido in men.

Androgen blocker:

Androgen blockers are prescribed to treat prostate cancer in patients. They are also known to reduce male libido and causes erectile dysfunction with several other side effects.


Although these drugs are fairly dangerous to sexual health of men but some are essential to treat certain diseases. Your doctor may suggest some alternative if the side effects are extremely high. Some supplements can also be used to reduce the side effects associated with these drugs.


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