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Drugs that may cause impotence

Contents of this page:

Alternative Names   

Impotence caused by medications; Drug-induced erectile dysfunction

Information    Return to top

Various medications and recreational drugs can have an affect on sexual arousal and sexual performance. It should be noted that what causes impotence in one man may not affect another.

If you think that a medication you are taking is having a negative effect on sexual performance, discuss the matter with your health care provider. NEVER stop taking any medication without first consulting your health care provider, because some medications can produce life-threatening reactions if they are not carefully and slowly stopped or switched appropriately.

The following is a list of medications and non-prescription drugs that may cause impotence:

Antidepressant and other psychiatric medications:

Antihistamine medications (certain classes of antihistamines are also used to treat heartburn):

High blood pressure medicines and diuretics ("water pills"):

Among the anti-hypertensive medications, thiazides are the most common cause of ED, followed by beta-blockers. Alpha-blockers are, in general, less likely to cause this problem.

Parkinson's disease medications:

Chemotherapy and hormonal medications:

Other medications:

Opiate analgesics (painkillers)

Recreational drugs:

References    Return to top

McVary KT. Clinical practice. Erectile dysfunction. N Engl J Med. Dec 2007; 357(24): 2472-81.

Update Date: 7/22/2008

Updated by: Justin Harmon, DO, Urologic Surgeon, Private Practice, Urologic Consultants of Southeastern Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.

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