Written by:Eli Ben-Yehuda, July 9, 2017

This week’s question comes from Ralph C in New Mexico. While some high blood pressure medications cause ED not all of them do.

High blood pressure medications that can cause sexual dysfunction as a side effect include:

  • Water pills (diuretics). Diuretics can decrease forceful blood flow to the penis, making it difficult to achieve an erection. They can also deplete the body of zinc, which is necessary to make the sex hormone testosterone.
  • Beta blockers. These medications, especially older generation beta blockers such as propranolol (Inderal, Innopran XL), are commonly associated with sexual dysfunction.
  • To reduce the risk of side effects from these medications, including sexual problems, take medications exactly as prescribed. If you still have side effects, talk to your doctor about other possible medications that may have fewer side effects. On the other hand, you should not take any medication that promotes and erection while on medication to lower blood pressure.

    Men whose blood pressure isn’t under control and those who take alpha-blockers (for high blood pressure or prostate problems) shouldn’t take Cialis, Levitra, Staxyn, or Viagra. Also, you may not be able to take these drugs if you: Take nitrate drugs (for chest pain) Had a heart attack or stroke in the past six months.

    If you are experiencing problems please contact your healthcare provider for assistance.

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