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Can Lisinopril Cause Erectile Dysfunction?

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When it comes to medication, side effects can strike up in places you didn't expect. When it comes to erectile dysfunction, it can be a side effect of many common (and not-so-common) medications.

Lisinopril is an ACE inhibitor used to treat hypertension, congestive heart failure, and heart attacks. It can also be used to improve survival after a heart attack. But does it have the potential to cause erectile dysfunction?

We're going to take a look at what the research says about lisinopril and erectile dysfunction. We'll also explore some other potential causes of erectile dysfunction and how you can treat it.

What is Lisinopril?

Lisinopril is a medication that belongs to a class of drugs called ACE inhibitors. These drugs are used to treat hypertension (high blood pressure), congestive heart failure, and heart attacks.

Lisinopril works by decreasing the production of a substance that causes the blood vessels to constrict. This lowers blood pressure and makes it easier for the heart to pump blood, which can improve symptoms of congestive heart failure.

ACE inhibitors can also be used to improve survival after a heart attack.

Lisinopril is available in both tablet and liquid form and is usually taken once or twice a day.

Why Do Some People Think Lisinopril Can Cause Erectile Dysfunction?

There are a few reasons why some people think lisinopril can cause erectile dysfunction.

First, lisinopril can cause a drop in blood pressure, as as we know, the blood supply is what creates and maintains an erection. However, this shift in blood supply is a mental and physical response, not just a physical one. So, if you're anxious on top of having low blood pressure, you may have difficulty getting or maintaining an erection. However, this is an incredibly rare side effect and is only seen in a very small percentage of people.

Second, lisinopril can cause changes in your potassium levels. Potassium is a mineral that's essential for many functions in your body, including proper heart function. Low potassium levels can lead to irregular heartbeats and palpitations, which can be a cause of erectile dysfunction.

What Does the Research Say?

When it comes to lisinopril and erectile dysfunction, the research is pretty clear. It's mostly antedotal evidence that comes from people using the medication. So what is the truth? Let's explore.

Lisinopril (Zestril) is a first-choice medication used to treat high blood pressure, but there are other options, too. But ED is not a common side effect of lisinopril. In fact, lisinopril can improve erectile dysfunction symptoms in people with high blood pressure, according to GoodRx.

If you develop ED symptoms when taking lisinopril, speak to your healthcare provider to rule out other possible causes. This is important because there are many potential causes of ED, and lisinopril may not be the root cause.

What If Lisinopril is the Cause?

If you and your healthcare provider determine that lisinopril is the cause of your ED, there are other options available to you. If your blood pressure is well-controlled, you might be able to switch to a different ACE inhibitor or a different class of blood pressure medication. If your blood pressure is not well-controlled, you and your healthcare provider might decide to add a second blood pressure medication to your treatment plan.

There are also many other treatment options for erectile dysfunction, including oral medications, injections, vacuum devices, and surgery. Talk to your healthcare provider about all of your options to find the best treatment plan for you.

Things That Do Cause Erectile Dysfunction

Certain medical conditions and treatments can cause erectile dysfunction, as well as simple lifestyle choices. Here are some of the most common causes:

Health Problems

Heart Disease - Because erectile tissue becomes erect after being filled with blood, heart conditions that reduce blood flow to the penis can cause erectile dysfunction. This is one of the first things doctors look for when ED is suspected.

High Blood Pressure - Hypertension can cause damage to the blood vessels that supply the penis, making it difficult to achieve and maintain an erection. If you have high blood pressure, your doctor will likely recommend lifestyle changes and may prescribe medication to help control it.

Diabetes - Diabetes can damage the nerves that control erections, as well as the blood vessels that supply the penis. This can lead to erectile dysfunction. Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of the disease, and is often caused by obesity and lack of exercise. If you have diabetes, your doctor will likely recommend lifestyle changes and may prescribe medication to help control your blood sugar levels.

Prostate Cancer and Prostate Surgery - Prostate cancer and the surgical treatments used to treat it can cause erectile dysfunction. Prostate cancer surgery, in particular, can damage the nerves and blood vessels that are necessary for erections. Some men may be able to reverse the effects of erectile dysfunction with surgery, but this is not always possible.

Peyronie's Disease - Peyronie's disease is a condition in which the erectile tissue of the penis is damaged, causing the penis to bend or curve during an erection. This can make it difficult or impossible to achieve and maintain an erection. Surgery may be able to correct the problem, but it is not always successful.

Medications

Some medications can cause erectile dysfunction, including:

Antidepressants - Tricyclic antidepressants, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), and monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) can all cause erectile dysfunction. These medications are often used to treat depression, anxiety, and other mental health conditions.

Blood Pressure Medications - Beta blockers, calcium channel blockers, and other medications used to treat high blood pressure can all cause erectile dysfunction.

Parkinson's Disease Medications - Some of the medications used to treat Parkinson's disease can cause erectile dysfunction.

Hormone Therapy - Hormone therapy, including testosterone replacement therapy, can cause erectile dysfunction.

Lifestyle Choices

Smoking - Smoking can damage the blood vessels that supply the penis, making it difficult to achieve and maintain an erection. Smoking damages the blood vessels that supply the penis by constricting them and making it difficult for blood to flow to the penis. This can make it difficult or impossible to achieve and maintain an erection.

Alcoholism - Alcoholism can cause damage to the nerves that control erections, as well as the blood vessels that supply the penis. How? Alcoholism damages the liver, which is responsible for filtering toxins out of the blood. This can lead to a build-up of toxins in the blood, including those that can damage the nerves and blood vessels necessary for erections.

Obesity - Obesity can damage the blood vessels that supply the penis, as well as the nerves that control erections. Obesity is also a risk factor for diabetes and heart disease, both of which can cause erectile dysfunction. The best way to treat erectile dysfunction caused by obesity is to lose weight.

Drug Use - Recreational drugs such as cocaine and methamphetamine can damage the blood vessels that supply the penis, as well as the nerves that control erections. Drug use is also a risk factor for heart disease, which can cause erectile dysfunction. The best way to treat erectile dysfunction caused by drug use is to stop using the drugs.

Psychological Conditions

Depression - Depression can cause erectile dysfunction by damaging the nerves that control erections, as well as the blood vessels that supply the penis. Depression is also a risk factor for heart disease, which can cause erectile dysfunction. The best way to treat erectile dysfunction caused by depression is to treat the depression.

Anxiety - Anxiety can damage the nerves that control erections, as well as the blood vessels that supply the penis. Anxiety is also a risk factor for heart disease, which can cause erectile dysfunction.

Stress - Stress can damage the nerves that control erections, as well as the blood vessels that supply the penis. Stress is also a risk factor for heart disease, which can cause erectile dysfunction.

The Bottom Line

In short, the research says that lisinopril may cause erectile dysfunction as a side effect in a very small percentage of people. If you think your ED may be caused by lisinopril, talk to your healthcare provider to rule out other potential causes and to discuss all of your treatment options.

This blog post is for educational purposes only and does not constitute medical or other professional advice. Your specific circumstances should be discussed with a healthcare provider. All statements of opinion represent the writers' judgement at the time of publication and are subject to change. Phoenix and its affiliates provide no express or implied endorsements of third parties or their advice, opinions, information, products, or services.

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