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Common Drugs Linked to ED

By David Blyweiss, M.D., Advanced Natural Wellness

There are a lot of reasons men experience erectile dysfunction. At the top of the list are vascular problems. If you don’t have a healthy blood flow, you’re not going to be able to get and maintain an erection.

This connection is so well established that I often warn male patients that ED is a crucial early warning sign of cardiovascular disease.Why is this? Well, the penile arteries are

Other health conditions like diabetes and obesity, are second on the list.

After that, the next leading cause of ED might surprise to you. It’s not stress, anxiety or depression. It’s not smoking, drinking and other bad habits.

Instead, it’s something millions of people do every day. They take prescription drugs. And some of today’s most common prescription meds contribute to erectile dysfunction. 

Let’s say you’re 60 years old. You’ve been having some prostate problems. Maybe you’re experiencing male pattern baldness. And maybe you already have a little ED.

After a trip to the doc, you walk out with a prescription for a 5-alpha reductase inhibitor like finasteride or dutasteride in hand. Common names for these drugs include Proscar, Propecia, Avodart and Jalyn, and they are regularly prescribed for prostate issues and hair loss.

You dutifully fill the prescription and start taking it.

Well now you really have problems!

We’ve known for a while that these drugs contribute to ED. And a new analysis of the Adverse Event Reporting System between 2010 and 2022 confirms that.

The investigation found that 5-alpha-reductase inhibitors were the #1 prescription medications that resulted in erectile problems. About 46% of medication-related ED cases were attributed to this class of drugs.

There are many natural 5-alpha-reductase inhibitors available to you that won’t destroy your sexual function. And there are even some newer, non-invasive treatment options that don’t appear to reduce erectile function.

I recommend you investigate and consider these options if you are currently taking a 5-alpha reductase inhibitor for BPH.

Other Common Medications Linked to ED

The next group of meds linked with ED were those related to mental health issues like depression, anxiety, bi-polar disorder and other emotional or psychological issues.

They were responsible for 32% of medication-related cases of ED in the analysis. The ones associated with the highest frequency of erectile dysfunction were…

      •     Paliperidone (Invega) Antipsychotic

      •     Citalopram (Celexa) SSRI Antidepressant

      •     Sertraline (Zoloft) SSRI Antidepressant

      •     Escitalopram (Lexapro) SSRI Antidepressant

A commonly prescribed blood pressure drug was linked to ED too. It was the calcium channel blocker Amlodipine (Amvaz, Katerzia, Norvasc).

So just imagine that. You’ve already got blood flow issues that contribute to ED. And now you’re taking a blood pressure med that comes with an ED side effect. That’s certainly not going to work in your favor!

Get Back in the Saddle Again

ED isn’t just one thing. Nothing ever is. However, it generally does start with a blood flow problem. Then other things contribute to it. The medications you take, the foods you eat, the quality and length of sleep you get and your activity levels… they all factor in.

As far as foods go, study after study shows that sticking with more of a plant-based diet helps prevent ED, and can even improve symptoms in men diagnosed with both erectile dysfunction and high blood pressure.

Ultimately, men who eat more fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts and olive oil – and less red meat, refined grains, added sugars, dairy and red meat – have healthier arteries, stronger blood flow and better erectile performance.

And then there’s sleep.

Poor sleep is strongly linked to ED. And the worse you sleep, the worse the symptoms. This is especially true if you have a disrupted circadian rhythm. But even sleep apnea can make matters worse. So it’s a good idea to address whatever it is that’s keeping you awake.

Limit caffeine in the afternoon. Shut your lights and devices down an hour before bedtime. Go to sleep at the same time every night. If pain keeps you awake, try different sleeping positions to help ease the discomfort.

If you have sleep apnea and have a CPAP, use it regularly. Men with sleep apnea who routinely use a CPAP can experience a significant improvement in erectile function.

And don’t forget about physical activity! Mainstream physicians often forget to point out that the more active you are, the better your erectile function will be. So if you’ve been sedentary for a while, it’s time to get up and moving.


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