Which Drugs Can Cause Erectile Dysfunction (And Which Ones Do Not)?

A urologist examines a list of drugs that can cause ED

Medications that cause ED

While various factors contribute to ED, including psychological and lifestyle factors, certain medications have also been associated with this condition.

Understanding the potential effects of different drugs on erectile function is crucial for both patients and healthcare providers.

In this article, we delve into the realm of medications and explore which ones may cause or not cause erectile dysfunction. By examining specific drugs we aim to provide valuable insights to help individuals make informed decisions about their health.

Let’s explore which drugs may impact erectile function and which ones are less likely to do so.

Antihypertensive Medications:

  • Lisinopril (Zestril/Qbrelis) – Erectile dysfunction is not listed as a side effect of Lisinopril, but a study found that 3% of men prescribed with Lisinopril experienced symptoms of sexual dysfunction.
  • Amlodipine (Norvasc/Katerzia) – While some researchers have suggested a potential link between calcium channel blockers, a class of medications that includes amlodipine, and erectile dysfunction, most specific research on amlodipine itself does not support this association. Sexual dysfunctions are listed as a side effect.
  • Losartan (Cozaar) – ED is not considered a common side effect of Losartan; in fact, a study found it may do the opposite. In the study, after 12 weeks of treatment with Losartan, 88% of hypertensive males with sexual dysfunction reported improvement in at least one area of sexuality.
  • Metoprolol (Kapspargo sprinkle/Lopressor/Toprol-XL) – There are studies that found a link between Metoprolol and ED, while the exact prevalence is not clear. With that said, a 2009 study found that his link might be more psychological than physical.
  • Carvedilol (Coreg) – Loss of erectile function is a possible side effect of Carvedilol, though it is not that common. A study carried out in 2001 has an interesting finding between carvedilol and erectile dysfunction.
  • Bisoprolol (Monocor/Zebeta) – Erectile dysfunction is considered to be a side effect of Bisoprolol, although this study did not find the connection between Bisoprolol use and ED risk to be statistically significant.
  • Benicar (Olmesartan) – Erectile dysfunction is not listed as a side effect of Benicar
  • Chlorthalidone – A study found that participants randomized to Chlorthalidone reported a significantly higher incidence of erection problems through 24 months than participants randomized to placebo (17.1% versus 8.1%, P =.025). The study also says the effects of erectile dysfunction with chlorthalidone appear relatively early and are often tolerable, and new occurrences after two years are unlikely.
  • Benazepril (Hygroton/Thalitone/Chlorthalid) – A phase IV clinical study that analyzed reports of 4,303 people who have side effects when taking Benazepril hydrochloride from the FDA. Among them, only 38 people (0.88%) have Erectile dysfunction. This study was able to characterize the demography affected being people who are 60+ old and have been taking the drug for 1 – 6 months.

Statins (Cholesterol-lowering Medications):

  • Atorvastatin (Lipitor) – Atorvastatin has not been shown to cause erectile dysfunction in seventeen placebo-controlled trials. Not only that, this meta-analysis conducted in 2022 concluded that Atorvastatin may be an effective treatment for Erectile Dysfunction.
  • Simvastatin (Zocor) – Clinical trials did not show Simvastatin to cause erectile dysfunction, but there has been some reporting of people complaining about erectile dysfunction, but since these reports were made by people willingly and we don’t know how many people experienced them, it’s usually difficult to determine how often they occur or whether they are directly caused by taking the medication. On the contrary some studies actually reported that Simvastatin increases erectile function and performance.
  • Lovastatin (Mevacor) – Lovastatin has not been shown to cause erectile dysfunction. It has been theorized in a 2014 meta-analysis that certain mechanisms in statins can impair erectile function, but on the other hand, this same meta-analysis concluded that statins can actually improve erectile dysfunction.

Diabetes Medications:

  • Metformin – Erectile dysfunction is not listed as a side effect of Metformin, but there is some research that showed that it can lead to ED that is induced by low testosterone.
  • Glipizide (Glucotrol/Glucotrol XL) – According to Mayo Clinic, Glipizide can cause erectile dysfunction but it is considered to be rare.

Antidepressants/Anxiety Medications:

  • Cymbalta (Cymbalta/Yentreve) – Data shows that Cymbalta causes a side effect of erectile in about 4-5% of men.
  • Gabapentin (Horizant/Gralise/Neurontin) – Erectile dysfunction is not listed as a side effect of Gabapentin. But some studies [1][2] have shown a link between Gabapentin use and sexual issues, including erectile dysfunction.
  • Clonazepam (Klonopin) – Erectile dysfunction is not listed as a side effect of Clonazepam, but some studies, including this 1994 study have shown a link between ED and Clonazepam. In this study, 42.9% of men taking Clonazepam complained of significant sexual dysfunction (primarily erectile dysfunction).
  • Methylphenidate (Ritalin/Concerta/Delmosart/Equasym/Medikinet) – Erectile dysfunction is not listed as a side effect of Methylphenidate. In fact, one study suggests that Methylphenidate may be an alternative treatment option for erectile dysfunction induced by antipsychotics
  • Olanzapine (Zyprexa) – Clinical studies have shown that about 2% of men and women experiences sexual function-related events including erectile dysfunction.
  • Quetiapine (Seroquel) – Erectile dysfunction is not listed as a side effect of Seroquel. Quetiapine may increase the blood levels of a hormone called prolactin. A side effect of increased prolactin levels in males is the possibility of experiencing erectile problems, but this is considered rare.
  • Diazepam (Valium) – Erectile dysfunction is not listed as a side effect of Diazepam, but this 2021 study did find that Benzodiazepines drugs (including Diazepam) have been shown to cause sexual dysfunctions including erectile dysfunction.
  • Amitriptyline (Elavil) – Erectile dysfunction is not listed as a side effect of Amitriptyline. This meta-analysis reports that 11.9% who have used Amitriptyline experienced sexual dysfunctions, including erectile dysfunction.
  • Sertraline (Zoloft) – Clinical trials have shown that about 4% of men experience erectile dysfunction as a side effect of Sertraline.
  • Fluoxetine (Prozac) – Sexual problems are listed as a side effect of Fluoxetine although the exact incidence is not clear. A 1992 study reported that 34% of men and women experienced sexual dysfunctions after Fluoxetine treatment.  
  • Lamictal – Erectile dysfunction is not considered to be a side effect of Lamictal. With that said, there is a case review published which linked lamotrigine with ED.

Pain Medications:

  • Oxycodone (Endone) – Erectile dysfunction is not listed as a side effect of Oxycodone, but according to this study 27% of men treating with opioids experienced ED.
  • Tramadol (Ultram/Ultram ER/Conzip) – Erectile is not listed as a side effect of Tramadol, but according to this 2019 study, men with opiate (Tramadol) use disorder experienced sexual dysfunction more frequently. The most affected domain of sexual dysfunction was erectile dysfunction.
  • Meloxicam (Mobic) – Erectile dysfunction is not listed as a side effect of Meloxicam. A 2017 study found that NSAID drugs, including Meloxicam does not increase the risk of ED.
  • Celecoxib (Celebrex) – Erectile dysfunction is not listed as a side effect of Celecoxib
  • Guaifenesin (Mucinex) – Erectile dysfunction is not listed as a side effect of Guaifenesin.
  • Melatonin – Melatonin is an over-the-counter supplement which is not regulated by the FDA, so data about the side effect is less well studied. This 2018 study found a connection between low levels of serum melatonin levels and ED.

Blood Thinners:

  • Warfarin (Coumadin/Jantoven) – Erectile dysfunction is not listed as a side effect of Warfarin.
  • Rivaroxaban (Xarelto) – Erectile dysfunction is not listed as a side effect of Rivaroxaban.
  • Clopidogrel (Plavix) – Erectile dysfunction is not listed as a side effect of Clopidogrel. A review of the literature suggest that the frequency of male sexual dysfunction following Clopidogrel treatment was only 0.17%.
  • Ticagrelor (Brilinta) – Erectile dysfunction is not listed as a side effect of Ticagrelor.
  • Aspirin – Erectile dysfunction is not listed as a side effect of Aspirin. In fact, Aspirin was even found to be helpful for treating ED.

Hair Loss Treatments:

  • Minoxidil (Rogaine) – Erectile dysfunction is not listed as a side effect of Minoxidil.
  • Propecia (Finasteride) – Erectile dysfunction is listed as a side effect of Propecia. Clinical studies showed it causes ED in less than 2% of men.

Asthma and Allergy Medications:

  • Montelukast (Singulair) – Erectile dysfunction is not listed as a side effect of Montelukast.
  • Loratadine (Claritin) – Erectile dysfunction is not listed as a side effect of Loratadine.
  • Fexofenadine (Allegra) – Erectile dysfunction is not listed as a side effect of Fexofenadine.
  • Diphenhydramine (Benadryl) – Erectile dysfunction is not listed as a side effect of Diphenhydramine.
  • Claritin-D – Erectile dysfunction is not listed as a side effect if Claritin-D.

Gastrointestinal Medications:

  • Omeprazole (Prilosec) – Erectile dysfunction is not listed as a side effect of Omeprazole, but a 2021 case study reported an abrupt onset of ED in a healthy young men, and suggested further research is needed.
  • Tums – Erectile dysfunction is not considered to be a side effect of Tums.
  • Famotidine (Pepcid/Zantac) – Erectile dysfunction is not listed as a side effect of Famotidine. According to Mayo Clinic can cause ED, but it is rare.

Other Medications:

  • COVID-19 vaccine – Although recent theories, it appears that COVID-19 vaccines are not associated with an increased risk of erectile dysfunction.
  • Suboxone – Erectile dysfunction is not listed as a side effect of Suboxone, but Suboxone consists of buprenorphine and naloxone which has been shown to cause erectile dysfunction in a high percentage of men (between 43% and 67%).
  • Lisdexamfetamine (Vyvanse) – Erectile dysfunction is listed as a side effect of Lisdexamfetamine, and is mentioned to occur in about 2.6% of men.
  • Adderall – Erectile dysfunction is listed as a side effect of Adderall.
  • Allopurinol (Zyloprim) – Erectile dysfunction is not listed as a side effect of Allopurinol, but studies show that it can rarely cause ED.
  • Amoxicillin (Amoxil/Larotid) – Erectile dysfunction is not listed as a side effect of Amoxicillin, but according to phase IV clinical studies, it suggested that Amoxicillin can cause erectile dysfunction is some men, especially for men who are 50-59 old and have been taking the drug for less than 1 month.

Conclusion

While lifestyle and psychological factors play a role, certain medications may also contribute to the development of ED.

Overall, understanding the potential impact of medications on erectile function is crucial.

We hope that by exploring the connections between specific medications and ED, this article serves as a valuable resource for those seeking clarity on the topic.

About Dr. Peter Odutola

Medical Doctor

Dr. Peter Odutola is an esteemed physician-scientist with a diverse range of research interests spanning the fields of reproductive medicine, immunology, and oncology. Currently based in Chicago, Illinois, Dr. Odutola serves as the leader of a dedicated research group that focuses on conducting systematic reviews and meta-analyses while also contributing to the writing and reviewing of medical articles. With academic achievements in both medicine and molecular biology, Dr. Odutola brings a comprehensive understanding of these disciplines to his work, further enriching the medical community's knowledge and advancements in various critical areas of study.