Medicines That Can Cause ED: a Comprehensive List

CATEGORY: Erectile Dysfunction

Erectile dysfunction (abbreviated as ED) can be caused by a host of factors that can be organic, psychological, and mixed. There is a myth that impotence occurs because a man is not attracted to a partner, but in most cases this is nonsense, since there are hundreds of possible causes of erectile dysfunction.

The negative effects of certain medications are considered organic causes. In this article, we will consider drugs that can lead to the development or worsening of erectile dysfunction.

Medicines for Hypertension and Angina Pectoris

The drugs that belong to this group are among the most prescribed in the whole world. It is worth saying that not all drugs for the treatment of these diseases have a side effect in the form of impotence. The most dangerous in this regard are beta-adrenergic blockers. Atenolol, bisoprolol, metoprolol, etc. belong to them. Other categories of these medicines are also fraught with the development of an unpleasant side effect, but they are less risky. These are angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors and angiotensin II receptor antagonists.

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Sexual side effects of antidepressants are one of the most common complaints of patients. This is due to the fact that antidepressants cause a sense of stability and calm, as well as block hormonal signals which trigger sex-related processes in the body.

Below you can see a list of antidepressant medications that can negatively affect erectile function.

  1. Tricyclic Antidepressants:
    1. Amitriptyline (Elavil)
    1. Imipramine (Tofranil)
    1. Clomipramine (Anafranil)
    1. Trimipramine (Anafranil)
    1. Nortriptyline (Pamelor)
    1. Doxepin (Zonalon, Doxepin Hydrochloride, Adnor, Anten)
    1. Desipramine (Norpramin, Pertofrane)
  2. Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors
    1. Fluoxetine (Prozac, Sarafem)
    1. Paroxetine (Paxil, Seroxat)
    1. Sertraline (Zoloft)
    1. Fluvoxamine (Luvox)
    1. Citalopram (Celexa)
    1. Escitalopram (Escitalopram)


These are drugs that are mainly used to treat allergies, so they are very common given the growth of allergic diseases in the world. Certain medicines of this group are used to combat the symptoms of motion sickness. Some of the antihistamines have been associated with an increased risk of erection problems. These are, in particular, Dimehydrinate (Dramamine), Diphenhydramine (Benadryl) and Hydroxyzine (Vistaril).

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Sleeping Pills

The side effect under consideration was found in the description of the drug related to the new generation of sleeping pills – zolpidem. With all its advantages in the treatment of insomnia, it turned out to be able to somewhat undermine male power. This is logical, because sleeping pills soothe the body, sometimes discouraging the desire to have sex.

Diuretic Drugs

Diuretics with spironolactone often take a toll on erectile function. They increase the production of the hormone prolactin, which competes with male testosterone. As a result, libido is weakened and erection is reduced. Some other diuretics act differently, and their negative effect is more manifested in the condition of vessels in the genital area. That is, they do not affect libido and behavior in relation to the sexual partner, but weaken the potency.

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Research Data

A few years ago, American researchers found that men taking drugs for baldness and for treating prostatic hyperplasia (benign enlargement) were much more likely to experience problems with erectile dysfunction. However, those patients who took medications of these groups on a short-term basis did not observe that side effect. The experiment involved 12 thousand men aged 16 to 89.

A related article: Metabolic Syndrome Increases Risks of Erectile Dysfunction


So, you have familiarized yourselves with a large but incomplete list of medicines that can cause impotence. Always carefully read the section “side effects” in the instructions for any medication that you are going to take. Forewarned is forearmed.

If you think that any of the medications you are taking may cause a deterioration in erectile function, consult your doctor. The medical specialist will analyze the situation and advise is the best remedy in your case.

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