Some blood pressure medications can lead to erectile dysfunction in men. Although these medications are used to manage blood pressure fluctuations, some can also adversely affect your erection function and cause erectile dysfunction. Blood pressure patients need to be careful while using these ED-causing medicines as the side effect of these medications is one of the most common contributors to erectile dysfunction. However, only a few BP medicines like beta blockers and diuretics lead to erectile difficulties while others are less likely to cause ED.
Blood Pressure Medicines That Do Not Contribute to Erectile Dysfunction
ED due to medications is quite common among men. But it is treatable to a great extent. If you start to experience the symptoms of ED after beginning the course of medication, you need to discuss it with your healthcare provider. They may change your medication and prescribe you some other medicine. Some BP medicines that don’t cause ED includes:
Angiotensin-converting-enzyme inhibitors are primarily used for the treatment of high blood pressure. These medications are also prescribed for treating heart and kidney issues. As the name suggests, ACE inhibitors are functions by negating the effects of Angiotensin-converting-enzyme in the body.
- ACE Enzymes
The ACE enzymes work as constrictors that narrows and tighten the blood vessels thereby leading to high blood pressure. However, ACE inhibitors effectively prevent this constriction and cause vasodilation which allows proper blood flow throughout the blood vessels of the body due to the complete relaxation of the muscular strains of the veins and arteries. Thus, these medications improve many severe ailments such as heart disease, diabetes, and migraines.
It serves as a potential treatment for erectile dysfunction due to its strong vasodilating properties. Some FDA-approved ACE inhibitors are Lisinopril (Zestril and Prinivil), Ramipril (Altace), and Enalapril (Vasotec). Some side effects of ACE inhibitor medications include headache, fatigue, dry cough, and loss of appetite.
Alpha-blockers improve blood circulation and lower your blood pressure. These medications work by preventing a hormone called norepinephrine from straining the walls of the blood vessels during stressful situations. Alpha-blockers effectively negate the function of the norepinephrine hormone and leads to the complete relaxation and expansion of blood vessels. This opens the passages of the blood vessels to accommodate and allow abundant blood flow through them.
Some alpha-blockers that improve blood pressure include Cardura (doxazosin), Hytrin, Flomax (tamsulosin), Minipress (prazosin hydrochloride), and terazosin hydrochloride. Some potential side effects of alpha-blockers are increased heart rate, fainting, and dizziness.
Calcium Channel Blockers
Your body is not capable of producing calcium naturally, it gets the necessary amounts from the foods that you eat. Lack of calcium intake via food can make the body get the required amount from your bones. The calcium reaches the arteries of your heart and causes constriction.
As a result, the passages of the blood vessels become narrow and allow inadequate blood flow which increases heart contractions due to increased blood pressure. However, calcium channel blockers help with the prevention of cardiovascular disorders by causing blood vessel dilation and relaxation.
Sometimes these medications are also used to alleviate the symptoms of severe chest pain or angina. Some calcium channel blockers include Cardene (nicardipine), Cardizem (diltiazem), Adalat (nifedipine), Nimotop (nimofipine), Norvasc (amlodipine), Sular (nisoldipine), Plendil (felodipine), and Calan (verapamil).
Angiotensin-Receptor Blockers (ARBs)
Angiotensin is a chemical enzyme that is released into the bloodstream, and it is responsible for constricting and narrowing blood vessels. ARBs work by preventing these angiotensin hormones from increasing blood pressure by negating their impact on the body. Consequently, there flows abundant blood throughout the blood vessels as they remain completely dilated.
Some examples of ARBs include Avapro (irbesartan), Atacand (candesartan), Benicar (Olmesartan), Micardis (telmisartan), and Diovan (valsartan). The most common side effect of ARBs is dizziness.
Blood Pressure Medicines That Can Cause Erectile Dysfunction
We have looked at the medications that do not lead to ED, now we will have a look at the medications that can contribute to ED.
Beta-blockers are known for reducing the heart rate and flow of blood. These medications work by negating the effects of the adrenaline hormone that is responsible for increasing your heart rate, circulation, and breathing rate. As a result, beta-blockers cause blood pressure to become low which affects the ability to attain and sustain an erection.
Diuretics tend to cause excessive urination which can further lead to zinc deficiency in the body. A deficiency of an essential nutrient like zinc can hurt the male sex hormone known as testosterone which can cause low libido and other sexual disorders. These medicines affect the flow of blood to the penile which leads to erectile dysfunction.
How Is Erectile Dysfunction Linked to Blood Pressure?
Frequent problems of erection failures can be an early sign of underlying blood pressure disorders. For attaining an erection, there needs to be healthy blood circulation in the penile. After getting sexually aroused, the blood fills two tubes of tissues in the penile which further causes them to swell, making the penile stiffer. The veins narrow and trap the blood for sustaining the erection.
However, inadequate blood flow due to blood pressure problems affects the erection function and men find it difficult to get and maintain an erection hard enough for sexual intercourse. An individual diagnosed with hypertension is most likely to experience erectile dysfunction issues.
Not all blood pressure medications cause erectile dysfunction. Side effects of beta-blockers and diuretics can reduce the flow of blood to the penile as they are responsible for lowering blood pressure throughout the body. On the other hand, other blood pressure medicines like alpha-blockers, ACE inhibitors, calcium channel blockers, and ARBs rarely contribute to erection problems.
Lastly, if you are experiencing erection problems after using the medicines for a while, then it is better to talk to your healthcare provider and get the BP medications changed.