Can’t Get It Up? May Be It’s Your Prescription Drugs Keeping Your Erection Down

Impotence or erectile dysfunction impacts nearly 30 million American men. Often times the problem is related to prescription medication. This blog will discuss five categories of medications that can cause you not to have an ejection or can make the erection less rigid and not adequate for sexual intimacy. This blog will discuss five medications that can impact your sex life and what you can do about it.

Most men who take prescription medications know that they’re going to come with a list of side effects, which usually include drowsiness, headaches, dry mouth, or upset stomach. Sometimes, they’re a bit more serious, encompassing everything from skin irritation to allergic reactions and anaphylactic shock. But most of these guys forget one of the more unwanted side effects: erectile dysfunction.

Around the country, erectile dysfunction, or simply ED, affects as many as 30 million men, according to the Department of Health and Human Services. Though this figure probably doesn’t include all those men taking prescription meds, they certainly experience the same effects, such as anxiety, depression, low self-esteem, and a decreased quality of life. Nevertheless, it’s important to know which medications may cause these side effects, and speak to a doctor about possible alternatives — or just prepare to have trouble keeping it up.

Benzodiazepines

It’s interesting that benzodiazepines, (Xanax, Ativan, Valium, and Librium,) which are commonly used for anxiety can cause ED, and thus further anxiety. In fact, you’ll find that it’s a running theme. Anxiety is well known to cause ED, as increased levels of stress harm the body and take away from a man’s libido or sex drive.

Antidepressants

Another condition that causes ED in itself, major depression affected an estimated 16 million adults. Antidepressants are also used to treat anxiety disorders, obsessive compulsive disorder, and even long-term pain. One of the major forms of antidepressants, called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), are comprised of the drugs Celexa, Prozac, Zoloft, and Lexapro.

Up to 60 percent of people taking SSRIs may experience ED.

Beta Blockers

High blood pressure damages blood vessels, including those in a man’s penis; causing ED. But beta blockers, one of the drugs most commonly prescribed to people who have blood pressure, may also cause them to experience ED. Drugs that fall into this category include Sectral, Lopressor, Cogard, and Tenormin.

Antihistamines

Millions of men suffer from allergies, but some of the most common drugs, such as Benadryl and Dramamine, may be causing them to have ED, too. The ED also seems to be temporary, with sensation coming back gradually after ending use.

H2 Blockers

Also called H2-receptor antagonists, this category of drugs include the popular heartburn drugs Zantac and Pepcid. They’re used to treat gastrointestinal disorders like gastric ulcers, erosive esophagitis, and gastroesophageal reflux disease.

For the most part, they cause ED when taken in high doses, and the drug Tagamet (cimetidine) is most likely to give men problems. Along with ED and a decreased libido, they can also lower a man’s sperm count.

Though life on these drugs may seem grim within the sexual arena, taking them is important for treating whatever disease a doctor has prescribed them for. Also, by talking with a doctor about alternative treatments, lowering doses, or taking supplements, anyone who takes these drugs may be able to get some of their sexual health back.

Bottom Line: There are dozens of medications that can affect a man’s sexual performance. Check with your doctor as he\she can usually alter the dosage or change to another medication that doesn’t have the side effect of ED.

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