Medications Can Worsen Erectile Dysfunction (ED)

It is pretty well known that some medications can make erections worse, in particular some blood pressure medications and anti-depressants. But Dr. Londono and her group looked at 37,712 men and found that it mattered also how many medications a man might take. 29% of the men had ED that was either moderate or severe. When complicating factors like obesity, smoking, high blood pressure, diabetes, depression and high cholesterol were removed, an additional risk for ED came from multiple drug use.

Now it can be said that men taking multiple drugs are more likely to have systemic illness, and ED is part of the spectrum of symptoms that go with systemic illness, so all this shouldn’t be a big surprise. But it does give us the idea that in order to improve ED, we need to work on lowering the dose or eliminating entirely medications a man may not need as prescribed.

57% of the survey participants were on more than three drugs, and the older the men were, the higher this percentage went. It is also interesting that 73% of the men taking more than three drugs were also very obese. I’m also surprised to see that 25% of these men were on at least ten drugs.

The goal is not just to reduce the number of medications, but to do everything possible to be as healthy is possible. If we drop weight, improve our natural blood pressure regulation, and treat diabetes well, then ED will get better.

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