Thousands of men take prescription and over-the-counter medications daily for different reasons. However, many don’t reflect on the possible impact medications have on their sexual function. If you’re struggling with erectile function, have you considered why? While many men are aware of the potential side effects of prescription medications, a most unwanted side effect is rarely acknowledged: erectile dysfunction.
Read on to learn more about the impact of medications on erectile function.
Linking Medication as a Cause of Erectile Dysfunction
The link between medications and the side effect of erectile dysfunction is difficult to unravel since medicine is not often the sole cause of decreased sexual abilities. Likewise, it’s difficult to navigate whether one’s impotence is due to medication or additional factors. For example, many diseases can lead to a disruption in sexual function. As a result, it can be challenging to determine whether the medication or disease is the leading factor in causing ED.
How do Medications Affect Erectile Function?
A variety of bodily processes and functions are required to achieve and maintain an erection. These processes involve hormones, organs (such as thyroid, pituitary, adrenal glands, and prostate), synapses in the brain, and the vascular and nervous systems, to name a few.
The coordination of dopamine and serotonin (neurotransmitters in the brain) are intricately involved in one’s sexual function. Although the exact process of sexual function is not fully understood, medicines that affect the systems above can result in side effects affecting one’s sexual abilities. It is understood, however, that medicines which have an effect on the brain’s neurotransmitters can result in side effects involving erectile dysfunction.
Moreover, some medications can impact multiple aspects of sexual function including libido, arousal, erection, and ejaculation in some gentlemen.
How Some Medications Can Decrease Libido
Your libido is commonly known as your “sex drive.” Medications that reduce testosterone levels can lower this drive as testosterone is a key hormone in maintaining a healthy libido. Did you know that your libido can also be affected by your general health and emotional state? In addition, a medication that affects either aspect, making you feel tired, lethargic and even gain weight, also has the potential to reduce your sex drive and sexual performance.
Having a strong libido is an integral part of being satisfied with your sexual health. Consult with your healthcare professional if you believe that your medication is impacting your sex drive.
Medication’s Role in Affecting Arousal
As stated previously, a combination of the nervous system, hormones, blood vessels and even psychological factors result in an erection. As a result, if your medication impacts any of these areas, you could experience impotence. For example, medicines that affect the blood vessels in the penis and those that affect brain function can all impact arousal.
Medication’s Role in Affecting Ejaculation
The process of ejaculation is a result of the activation of alpha receptors in the prostate gland and seminal vesicles. An increase in alpha-receptor activation causes the normal flow of semen out of the penis. However, this process can become disrupted by medications that block alpha receptors. In addition, chemicals in the brain also impact the process of ejaculation. If these chemicals are affected by certain medications, normal ejaculation can be disrupted.
Medications That Increase The Risk of Erectile Dysfunction
Certain medications can increase the risk of erectile dysfunction in some men. Examples of these medications include:
- High blood pressure medications
- Heart or cholesterol medications
- Psychotropic medications that are used to treat behavioural disorders and depression
- Certain antipsychotic medications
- Hormone drugs
- Chemotherapy drugs
Have you noticed a change in your sex drive or overall sexual function since taking a new medication? If so, it’s best to consult with your healthcare professional to determine if your new prescription is potentially harming your sexual performance. It is important that you never stop taking your medication before speaking with your healthcare professional.
To learn more about ED Free Clinics’ services to treat erectile dysfunction, including the patented Medispec ED1000 device that we use to treat ED, contact us today.
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