Erectile dysfunction is often linked to a health-related problem, but could a medication used to treat another condition or disease be negatively affecting our sexual health? When experiencing frustration with erectile dysfunction (also known as ED), defined as not being able to obtain or maintain an erection, it is important to investigate the medicine cabinet for the potential cause.
The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases explains several drugs, which may cause erectile dysfunction, are prescribed to help us with our vascular, nervous and endocrine system.(1) While we know our bodies work as a collective unit we may not understand how in treating one condition or disease it could harm a different biological pathway altogether. This prompted the thought that some medicines we commonly used to treat blood pressure, depression, and even attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) may be affecting our sexual health as well.
If we know not much as changed in our daily lives situationally (ex. Aging, Divorce, etc.) yet erectile dysfunction is occurring this article may be of great use to uncovering the problem.
While most physicians link erectile dysfunction to age these medications may be positively or negatively influencing erectile dysfunction:
(If you are not interested in this exact list of five medications and their connections to erectile dysfunction skip down to the end of this article. There is additional information on general classifications of medications commonly connected to erectile dysfunction.)
According to Research, these are some drugs that do NOT cause ED:
Lisinopril and ED
Lisinopril is an ACE inhibitor medication used in the treatment of high blood pressure. It is also known as Prinivil or Zestril.
Well, does Lisinopril cause ED? No. Quite the contrary actually.
Lisinopril is used to increase blood flow making lisinopril and erectile dysfunction highly unlikely. After all, increasing blood flow will have an impact throughout the body, and erections require blood flow. They report less than one percent of men taking lisinopril have ED as a side effect.(2)
Another study completed in 1999 in Italy determined lisinopril does not cause erectile dysfunction. With a participant study of 90 hypertensive men, they compared lisinopril to another common drug, Atenolol. Their findings resulted in high amounts of sexual dissatisfaction in the Atenolol group but not in the lisinopril group.(2) This resulted in lisinopril being a better blood pressure medication for sexual health.
These studies help alleviate concern of treating high blood pressure without lisinopril erectile dysfunction!
Losartan and ED
Losartan much like Lisinopril is used in the treatment of high blood pressure. It also is used in treatment for kidney disease patients whom also have diabetes. Losartan is classified as a Angiotensin II receptor blocker. With both medications helping increase blood flow, this means we can see some similarities in them not being drugs causing erectile dysfunction.
Does losartan cause ed? Nope! Losartan erectile dysfunction is not a thing!
In fact, some evidence shows both drugs actually helping with blood flow for sex.
A study in Spain collected 164 hypertensive men and divided them into two groups, those with erectile dysfunction and those without erectile dysfunction. These men would undergo a closely monitored 12-week therapy with Losartan treatment. The Spain study reported, “Our data suggest that losartan improved erectile function and both satisfaction and frequency of sexual activity.” (3)
This was great news for Losartan and ED being beneficial for one another!
Wellbutrin and ED
According to Psychology Today, Wellbutrin (also known as bupropion) is known as the best antidepressant drug for sex.(4) This sounds great of course but it was worth diving deeper to see if this could be true. Additionally, Wellbutrin helps in the treatment of stopping the use of smoking.
The University of Virginia concluded bupropion erectile dysfunction is not possible. There results led to men using Wellbutrin had an increase in sexual desire and activity.(5) This is good news for their participants battling depression because most other antidepressants do affect sexual satisfaction and activity. A loss in sexual desire, inability to hold an erection, and trouble orgasming are extreme hindrances found in the use of other antidepressants but not Wellbutrin.(4)
Despite the University of Virginia study, there is some controversy in Wellbutrin’s effect on sexual desire, but these resources do not state a connection between Wellbutrin and erectile dysfunction.(9)
Knowing we can depend on no possible connections with Wellbutrin erectile dysfunction while overcoming depression and smoking is huge relief!
According to Research, these are some drugs that may cause ED:
Adderall and ED
Perhaps the most commonly known medication on our list is Adderall (Mydayis). Adderall is an amphetamine used in the treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and narcolepsy. It is commonly known that both men and women who have ADHD may have a lower sex drive than those who do not.
Does Adderall cause ED? Most research says yes.
There are strong connections between taking the medication Adderall and erectile dysfunction.
Adderall has been related to circulatory problems and increase blood pressure and heart rate.Thus, decreasing blood flow throughout our bodies. As we learned from investigating Lisinopril erectile dysfunction and Losartan erectile dysfunction, blood flow is a key factor in aiding or harming an erection.(8)
Experts say finding an ADHD medication that does not cause Adderall induced erectile dysfunction may be a trial and error process.(9) There is comfort in knowing that just because someone is ADHD and taking Adderall does not mean they will have any sex health issues. Every male body is different and reacts to medications differently.
While Adderall erectile dysfunction effects can affect blood flow and contribute to ED there are ways to manage this by an additional prescription like Viagra.(7)
Tramadol and ED
Tramadol and erectile dysfunction may be the most interesting connection for us to explore on this list.
Does Tramadol cause ED? This medication has a lot of interesting impact on sexual health.
We are happy to announce tramadol is used in some cases as a treatment for premature
ejaculation. Tramadol is more primarily prescribed as a pain treatment though. Tramadol sexual side effects are different than the others on our list, and these differences can be beneficial or harmful for us.
A 2015 study out of Thailand explored the concept of Tramadol and sex. They concluded, “The sex life of patients improved, and they reported greater satisfaction with the sporadic treatment.”(7)
Now, we are reminded that it important to know all the facts before jumping to conclusions or starting a new medical treatment. When reading more into the study, we find out that yes tramadol does help in treatment for premature ejaculation, but it is also linked to causing tramadol induced erectile dysfunction.
It is very important to discuss this medication with your doctor and how it will affect your sexual health before starting treatment.
We definitely should research more on why tramadol erectile dysfunction can affect the body.
What drugs can cause erectile dysfunction that are not on this list?
We did not cover every medication in the medicine cabinet, but there is some basic medication categories that are linked to erectile dysfunction in men. According to the Cleveland Clinic, there are wide assortment of medications that could also be leading to erectile dysfunction.(9)
These are medications that may lead to ED in men:
- Antidepressants (Not all of them!)
- Parkinson’s disease drugs
- Muscle relaxants
- Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
- Histamine H2-receptor antagonists
- Chemotherapy medications
- Prostate cancer drugs
- Anti-seizure medications
What to do if you believe a medication on this list is causing erectile dysfunction?
Of course, it is always a good idea to consult your doctor if you believe your medication is influencing your sexual health. Several doctors will act by lowering your dosage or changing your medication treatment altogether. If this is not an option doctors may be able to work out schedules in which planning ahead may be the best option.
Something to consider is some medication and new treatments need time for the body to adjust.
Erectile dysfunction side effects may only be a temporary inconvenience. If this is not the case, physicians may prescribe other medications to help with erectile dysfunction like Viagra.
At the end of the day every man’s body is different on how it functions and reacts to medication.
Understanding the general principles of the medications being consumed can only help in being knowledgeable for your overall health.
This article was created for informational purposes only. It is not meant to be used as medical advice or in medical decisions. We recommend reaching out to a physician for decisions in erectile dysfunction cause and treatment.
- National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, “Symptoms & Causes of Erectile Dysfunction-What are the symptoms of erectile dysfunction?”. July 2017.
- Fogari R 1 , Zoppi A, Corradi L, Mugellini A, Poletti L, Lusardi P. Department of Internal Medicine and Therapeutics, University of Pavia, Italy. 1999. DOI: 10.1016/s0895-7061(98)00139-3.
- Llisterri JL 1 , Lozano Vidal JV, Aznar Vicente J, Argaya Roca M, Pol Bravo C, Sanchez Zamorano MA, Ferrario CM. “Sexual dysfunction in hypertensive patients treated with losartan.” Department of Medicine and Psychiatry, University of Valencia School of Medicine, Spain. 2001 May;321(5):336-41.
- Psychology Today. The Antidepressant Drug Best for Sex. 2012.
- Clayton, A.H. et al. “A Placebo-Controlled Trial of Bupropion SR as an Antidote for Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor-Induced Sexual Dysfunction,” Journal of Clinical Psychiatry (2004) 65:62.
- Abdalla Hassan, MD Cindy Chen, Pain Medicine, Volume 17, Issue 3, March 2016, Pages 622–623,https://doi.org/10.1093/pm/pnv007
- Hai Err and Viroj Wiwanitkit1. Tramadol and Sexual Dysfunction. Indian J Psychol Med. 2015 Jan-Mar; 37(1): 107. doi: 10.4103/0253-7176.150859.
- Dennis Thompson Jr. Adults with ADHD may have difficulty enjoying a healthy and rewarding sex life. Learn how the right treatment, including therapy, can solve sex drive problems related to ADHD. 12/6/2013.