Whether you’re taking medication to treat blood pressure, pain, depression, inflammation or another condition, various side effects may occur, one of which is erectile dysfunction (ED).
ED often occurs in older men, as they are more likely to be taking medication, but it can affect younger men as well. According to the Harvard Special Health Report it is estimated that 25% of all erectile dysfunction cases in the US are a result of the side effects of medication. Antidepressants and blood pressure medications are the most common culprits in this regard. Many men who suffer from medication-induced ED, either stop taking their medication altogether, or learn to live with ED.
Working out a solution can feel like a daunting task. Luckily, there are several options available to help fix this problem and maintain both a healthy sex life and treatment for your condition.
Erections are the result of a complicated process involving nerve impulses, chemical signals and blood flow. Several medications can affect one or more of these processes, which in turn can lead to ED. Additionally, the effect of medications on hormonal regulation and general mood can lead to a decreased libido, further contributing to ED.
Once prescribed, many patients will take their medication indefinitely, although it may no longer be necessary. When prescribed a long-term medication, follow up with your doctor regularly to determine if you may need a dose adjustment, a substitution or if you can discontinue the medication altogether.
Talk to your doctor. There may be an alternative medication which can treat your condition without causing ED. Blood pressure medications including diuretics (water pills) like Hydrochlorothiazide and beta-blockers like Atenolol are the most common medications leading to ED. Thankfully, there are several high blood medications that are less likely to cause ED as a side effect. These include:
Bottom line: If you are being treated for high blood pressure and are experiencing ED as a side effect, your doctor may be able to prescribe an alternative medication to remedy this issue.
There are a myriad of oral medications used to treat ED, including Viagra, Levitra, Staxyn, Cialis and Stendra. For most men, these medications are safe and effective. In general, oral medications for erectile dysfunction work by enhancing the effect of a biochemical known as nitric oxide. Release of Nitric oxide indirectly leads to relaxation of smooth muscle in the penis. This in turn leads to enhanced blood flow, which makes it easier to achieve and maintain an erection.
Consult your doctor to determine which medication may be best for you. Each medication has minor differences in chemical makeup. Your doctor will be able to take into account your underlying medical conditions, and medications you might be taking, when selecting the appropriate ED medication.
The most common medications used to treat ED are:
Remember, before taking any medication for ED, you should always get your doctor’s approval.
Find out more about the treatments mentioned in this article below:
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