Drugs that cause Erectile dysfunction(ED)

Drugs that cause Erectile dysfunction(ED)
Published : Mar 14, 2024
Last Updated : Mar 14, 2024

Erectile dysfunction is a problem heard by one-third of men worldwide. But what are the causes of it? Some might say obesity, stress, depression, and more can be the cause of ED. But do you know certain medications also cause erectile dysfunction problems? Whether they are prescription drugs or over-the-counter drugs, they might have the risk of causing ED.

The leading physical cause of ED is the drugs you intake. The medicines you take to treat certain diseases can be a reason for ED. Today, we are here to discuss all the medications that cause these problems. Please go through the article to learn more about it.

Drugs that cause ED

Here is a list of drugs that might cause erectile dysfunction. These drugs can impact the male reproductive system and might affect the erectile function of a man. Make sure to consult a doctor if you suspect any sexual side effects while using any of these medications.

Hypertension medicines

Blood pressure medications are well-known medicine that causes ED. Hypertension medications limit the amount of blood flow to the penis, which results in ED. All drugs used to treat high blood pressure somehow cause erectile dysfunction.

However, beta blockers and diuretics like blood pressure drugs are associated with a higher risk of impotence. These drugs affect nerve impulses and blood flow by stimulating blood vessels. On the other hand, alpha-blockers and ACE inhibitors pose a lower risk of ED.

However, the ED caused by hypertensive medications may be treated with ED pills such as Sildenafil, Vardenafil, and many more. Always use anyone after discussing it with the doctor. Also, you must not you must avoid the combined use of high blood pressure drugs along with these prescription medications for ED.


Body pains are joint with age. So, many people today use painkillers to reduce body pains. So, painkillers have a high chance of causing erection problems. Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs are often used to treat pains. NSAIDs are most commonly used for pain.

The most popular painkillers are Ibuprofen and Aspirin. According to The Journal of Urology, NSAIDs pose a higher risk of causing erectile dysfunction. It is always advised to use ED pills with painkillers after getting a suggestion from a healthcare provider.


Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors are mainly used as an antidepressant to treat depression. SSRIs inhibit the reuptake of Serotonin in the CNS or Central nervous system. Recent research finds that SSRIs have the common side effect of increasing Serotonin.

The increase in Serotonin may affect hormones such as testosterone, Dopamine, and more. Low testosterone levels affect sexual arousal and sexual function, which may cause ED problems. On the other hand, Dopamine affects the orgasm.

Fluoxetine, an antidepressant, has a lower risk of causing ED. Some antidepressants, such as Paroxetine, pose a high risk of causing erection problems. Hence, it is advised to use low-risk SSRIs that have fewer side effects. So, make sure to discuss all the potential risks and benefits of these anti-anxiety drugs before you start consuming them.


The body's immune systems produce Histamine in reaction to allergies. Hence, antihistamines treat allergies, fevers, colds, and more. Histamines play a vital role in causing an erection in men.

When you take antihistamines, the histamine action in the body is reduced, hence resulting in an erection. Some popular antihistamines are Zantac, Benadryl and more. These antihistamines pose a higher risk of causing erection problems.

Chemotherapy and Hormonal therapy

All types of chemotherapy, hormonal therapy, surgery, etc can cause ED health issues. These therapies cause ejaculation problems and thus result in ED. The chemotherapy agents cause vascular and neural damage, which causes erection problems.

A popular hormonal therapy, Androgen Deprivation Therapy, is used in the treatment of Prostate cancer. This ADT has a side effect of causing low libido. Hence, the impact of androgen is reduced in the body, resulting in erectile dysfunction.


The development of sexual characteristics is done by a hormone called androgens. When you take anti-androgens, it blocks the effects of hormones in the body and reduces testosterone levels. Anti-androgens are mainly used to treat prostate cancer.

The testosterone level is reduced with anti-androgens, which causes sexual problems. A recent paper shows that testosterone plays a vital role in causing erection. Low testosterone levels have the side effects of causing erectile dysfunction.

There are patients whose bodies don't respond to PDE5 inhibitors. In such patients, androgen therapy might work. Anti-androgens block androgens in the body, hence causing ED. The anti-androgen medicines are Propecia, Aldactone, and more.

Recreational Drugs

Recreational drugs are illegal drugs like cocaine, marijuana, and ecstasy that can contribute to sexual dysfunction (ED). These substances can affect blood flow, hormone levels, and neurological pathways, impairing sexual function. Chronic use may lead to long-term ED and other health complications. Seeking medical help is essential for addressing ED caused by recreational drug use.

What can be done if suffering from ED?

First of all, you must visit a healthcare professional. They might diagnose your problems and suggest what leads to ED. Inform the doctor about all diseases you are suffering from, all medicines you take, and other medical status.

This will help them find the best ED treatment for you. As a first thing, they might advise you to take some ED pills that include Cialis, Viagra, Levitra, or any other. Other than this, you might also be asked to perform exercises and maintain a healthy lifestyle.

In rare cases, injection, vacuum device, and surgery are prescribed. Several ED treatments are available; hence, wait before consulting a doctor.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does regular smoking cause erection problems?

Ans- Still, there is no clear information available on smoking and its reaction that may cause ED. However, taking ED pills and smoking might cause other health issues related to the heart. Indirectly, it can cause erection problems.

What should I do if I am taking blood pressure medicines and have ED?

Ans- You can use low-dose hypertension medicines if you have ED problems. Also, some of the ED pills work when you have ED because of hypertension medications. But take both ED pills and blood pressure medicines in a proper gap of 2 to 3 hours minimum.

Which treatment is fast and effective for ED?

Ans- Erectile dysfunction pills are mainly prescribed ED treatments. Several ED pills are available, such as Viagra, Levitra, and more, that work in just 30 to 45 minutes. After checking your medical status, your doctor may suggest the best one.

Final words

Every person consumes different medications every day. But always try to check their side effects. The drugs mentioned above can also be a reason for the occurrence of ED. Hence, always take it after consulting a healthcare professional.