Don’t Miss a Single Update or New Release! Sign up Today

Which Drugs Can Cause Erectile Dysfunction?

<p>Which Drugs Can Cause Erectile Dysfunction?</p>
Dr. Constance Odom, MD Picture of Dr. Constance Odom, MD

Medically reviewed by

Written by our editorial team.

Last Edited 7 min read

 As most people know, erectile dysfunction is a problem for many men. It can be frustrating, and many men turn to drugs for erectile dysfunction to solve this problem. These medications are very effective, but did you know that many drugs can cause erectile dysfunction?

According to Medline Plus, many recreational prescription and other substances have the ability to give men sexual arousal problems and potentially erectile dysfunction. This will vary from one man to another. What hurts one man may be beneficial for another man. According to experts, it is important to talk to your doctor about any medications you would like to take. He or she will be able to advise you on which prescriptions can have a negative effect on sexual function.

Many psychiatric medications and antidepressants can cause erectile problems. One such drug is Amitriptyline. According to PubMed, Amitriptyline is an effective medicine that is used to treat a variety of conditions. These conditions include depression, migraines, pain, and mood disorders. Amitriptyline works on the central nervous system. In doing so, it increases the levels of specific chemicals in the brain.

Known as a tricyclic antidepressant or TCA, Amitriptyline is only available when you have a prescription from your doctor. This medication comes in tablet form. Randomized clinical trials have studied Amitriptyline and have concluded a number of negative sexual side effects. Amitriptyline is associated with decreased sex drive and erectile dysfunction. Ejaculatory and orgasmic disorders have also been linked to this medication.

In one clinical trial, only one woman reported a sexual function problem from taking this medication. This suggests that Amitriptyline causes sexual problems in males more than it does in females. Male participants in clinical trials found that 24 male participants in a study developed sexual problems as a result of taking this drug.

Amitriptyline was very popular in the 1980s and 1990s, but it quickly faded from prominence when newer medications came on the market. This happened because of Amitriptyline’s negative side effects. This drug is also associated with a high possibility of a lethal overdose. Antidepressants, as a whole, have been deemed responsible for a number of sexual problems, including loss of libido, problems with sexual arousal, “delayed orgasm,” and erectile dysfunction.

These devastating side effects can lead many to stop taking this medicine or search for alternatives. However, there are many other drugs that can also cause erectile dysfunction. While antidepressants are often to blame for ED, there are other common drugs that have the same effect. Take Sudafed, for example.

Experts assert that Sudafed, an over-the-counter decongestant, has a strong likelihood to cause erectile dysfunction. Sudafed elevates adrenaline. This can cause ED. When adrenaline levels are increased, blood vessels begin to narrow, instead of widening to increase blood flow. This makes it difficult for a man to get an erection.  

Recreational drugs are also known to cause ED. Certain drugs, whether legal or not, have the potential to cause erectile dysfunction, and many men don’t realize this. Erectile dysfunction can be caused by recreational drugs in multiple ways.

Some recreational drugs are used for medical purposes. They affect the signals in the brain. The signals that cause erections are then impaired. Recreational drugs also cause your blood pressure to go up. They also cause blood vessels to narrow. Because of this, blood flow to the penis is restricted.

Alcohol also has the potential to cause erectile dysfunction. This is more common in people who consume large amounts of alcohol. Alcoholic beverages can cloud your judgment, decrease your sexual desire, and make it hard to reach orgasm. This is contrary to what many people believe. Many believe that alcohol makes the sexual experience enjoyable.

According to Very Well Health, Cocaine, Heroin, and Marijuana can cause erectile dysfunction. Pubmed conducted a study, which found a definitive link between cocaine use and erectile dysfunction. Those who abuse cocaine have a higher likelihood of developing erectile dysfunction. The study followed the sexual history of men who were addicted to alcohol and cocaine. Sixty-two percent of those addicted to alcohol and cocaine were admitted into rehabilitation.

Dilantin, an antiseizure medication, is also known to cause erectile dysfunction. According to Sharecare, most antiseizure drugs do not cause erectile dysfunction. However, Dilantin is the exception to this rule. Known by its generic name as phenytoin, Dilantin can make it difficult for men to attain and sustain an erection.

Some professionals say that you can try lowering the dosage of the medication to see if anything changes, but this is a disparaging side effect for many men. If you must take an anti seizure medication, you may want to consider switching to a different prescription. Lamictal and Keppra are good options. They have minimal side effects in many people.

There are a number of other things you can do to keep yourself from developing erectile dysfunction while taking Dilantin. You can try to lose weight, if you are overweight. You can also cut back on your alcohol consumption. You could also quit smoking. If you do all of these things, you may have a greater likelihood of restoring your sexual function. You can try exercising and lowering stress levels, if at all possible.

Klonopin and Ativan are two prescription drugs that are known to cause erectile dysfunction. Klonopin is known to cause low libido and delayed ejaculation. If you find it difficult to get and maintain an erection while taking drugs like these, you may want to stop taking them. Anti-anxiety drugs are well-known for causing sexual problems. Klonopin comes from a class of drugs called benzodiazepines. Benzodiazepines are known to mess with sexual function.

Benzodiazepines are tranquilizers and are prescribed to treat insomnia, muscle spasms, and seizures. This class of drugs causes muscles to relax, which may explain why Klonopin and Ativan are often responsible for erectile dysfunction. These drugs may cause you to lose interest in sex and can cause dulled sexual sensation. Benzodiazepines are believed to weaken orgasms as well.

Lasix is also believed to be responsible for causing erectile dysfunction, WebMD says. Lasix is a water pill used to treat a number of conditions, such as fluid retention, kidney disease, liver disease, and a host of other health conditions. Lasix belongs to a class of drugs called loop diuretics. Lasix is sometimes used to treat the side effects of congestive heart failure. These side effects include swelling of the body. Lasix works by increasing urine flow. Often used to treat high blood pressure, this medication helps the heart function properly.

Unfortunately, though, it is also a diuretic that eliminates fluids. Whether this is a good or bad thing depends on your situation, but it can significantly impact your quality of life, especially in the bedroom.

This may narrow your choices of medications. Sexual dysfunction is one of the most prominent side effects of Lasix. If you are choosing a diuretic to eliminate extra fluids, you may want to explore other options.

Many blood pressure medications are responsible for causing erectile dysfunction. Erectile dysfunction is often more common in older men. Experts say that roughly 25 percent of all ED cases are caused by a prescription medication. Many older men are prone to develop ED as a result of taking prescription drugs.

Drugs used to treat ulcers can be responsible for the development of ED as well. Erectile dysfunction and high blood pressure are often linked, with high blood pressure causing many cases of ED.  

Drugs used to counteract male pattern baldness are often responsible for causing erectile dysfunction as well. These drugs cause ED in 1.3 percent of men who take them. Other medications, such as anti-androgens and antihistamines can cause ED. 

Some people say that anti-androgens can improve sexual function, but that simply is not the case. Anti-androgens affect the muscles, which may explain why they are responsible for a number of erectile dysfunction cases. It helps to read about the side effects of such drugs before you take them. That way, you can see whether or not they can mess with your sexual function.

Doxepin, also known by its brand name Sinequan, can potentially cause erectile dysfunction. Much like other antidepressants, Sinequan is believed to cause blood issues, which can lead to life-threatening conditions. Choosing the right medication for you can be difficult if you have sexual function issues or are seeking to avoid sexual problems.

Oxazepam or Serax is another example of a drug that can cause ED in men. Diazepam, also known as Valium, is used to treat mood disorders. Unfortunately, though, it can also lead to delayed ejaculation and diminished sex drive in some men. Many men may be unaware of this and may blame their ED on other potential factors.

When it comes to choosing the right drug for you, be mindful of any conditions you may have and how medications may affect them. Other drugs that may cause ED include heartburn medications. Drugs like Pepcid and Zantac can have this effect. These drugs in particular are known for reducing sexual desire in men.

Pain relievers like Oxytocin are also known to decrease sexual desire, most likely because they are muscle relaxers. The more drugs a man takes, the more likely he is to develop erectile dysfunction.


16 Sources

Nu Image Medical has strict sourcing guidelines to ensure our content is accurate and current. We rely on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and medical associations. We strive to use primary sources and refrain from using tertiary references.

This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. The information contained herein is not a substitute for and should never be relied upon for professional medical advice. Always talk to your physician about the risks and benefits of any treatment. Nu Image Medical may not offer the medications or services mentioned in this article.