Do you have both erectile dysfunction (ED) and high blood pressure (Hypertension)? If so, you are not alone. In fact, erectile dysfunction and hypertension are often found together. Yet, the high blood pressure medications used to treat hypertension sometimes, but rarely, cause erectile dysfunction.
Erectile dysfunction can be caused by other medications, diabetes, heart disease, depression, alcohol, smoking, obesity, age, trauma, hormone imbalance, pelvic surgery, and stress. It is also more common in patients with hypertension, which is why the two conditions are commonly found together.
If you are experiencing erectile dysfunction, you should ask your doctor if your high blood pressure medication could be the cause. Otherwise, your ED is likely one of the side effects of your high blood pressure.
Can High Blood Pressure Cause ED?
High blood pressure is a condition in which the force of blood against your artery walls is abnormally high. This can cause damage to arteries, causing them to narrow, or burst. High blood pressure can cause heart attacks, strokes, kidney failure, blindness, impotence, and other problems. High blood pressure is the leading cause of stroke, heart attack, and kidney failure.
It is true that high blood pressure is linked to ED. A study showed that 49% of men ages 40 to 79 who had high blood pressure also had issues maintaining erections. The risk of ED only increased in men who had high blood pressure for more than five years.
For these reasons, you should talk with your doctor about whether your high blood pressure medicine is the cause of your ED. If it is, you can discuss other treatment options with your doctor, such as switching to another medicine, or adjusting the dosage.
How May High Blood Pressure Medications Cause ED?
There are several reasons why high blood pressure medicines can cause erectile dysfunction. The most common is that the medications lower your blood pressure to a point that it affects your ability to get and maintain erections.
Other possible reasons for ED caused by high blood pressure medications include:
- Narrowing of blood vessels
- Blockage of arteries
- Change in blood flow to organs
- Loss of sexual desire
Talk to your doctor if your high blood pressure medication causes your ED. Your doctor may be able to recommend other medicines that can help manage your ED while still treating your high blood pressure.
High Blood Pressure Medication That May Cause ED
There are many high blood pressure medications on the market. Each individual may react differently to a particular medication. The side effects of a medication may also depend on the dosage.
Most high blood pressure medications do not cause ED. However, there are a few medications that have been linked to ED.
Alpha-1 blockers work by relaxing the blood vessels. They can also relax the muscles around the penis. This can lead to the inability to get or maintain an erection. Common alpha-1 blockers include:
- Prazosin (Minipress)
- Doxazosin (Cardura)
- Terazosin (Hytrin)
Angiotensin-receptor blockers block the hormone angiotensin. This hormone helps to regulate blood pressure. When angiotensin is blocked, blood vessels relax and widen, which can lead to ED. Common angiotensin-receptor blockers include:
- Candesartan (Atacand)
- Olmesartan (Benicar)
- Valsartan (Diovan)
Alpha blockers work by relaxing the muscles in the penis. This can lead to ED. Common alpha blockers include:
- Prazosin (Minipress)
- Terazosin (Hytrin)
Calcium Channel Blockers
Calcium channel blockers relax the muscles of the penis, which can lead to ED. Common calcium channel blockers include:
- Verapamil (Calan, Isoptin)
- Diltiazem (Cardizem, Tiazac)
- Felodipine (Plendil)
- Nifedipine (Adalat CC, Procardia)
Can I Take Viagra if I’m Taking High Blood Pressure Medications?
You can take certain mediations with your doctor's recommendation, such as Stendra, Cialis, or Levitra.
You should take Viagra only if you have been prescribed it by a doctor and you have a confirmed diagnosis of ED. The prescription is designed to treat ED that is caused by your high blood pressure medications, not to treat the underlying cause of your ED.
Talk to your doctor if you are taking medication for high blood pressure and experience ED. If appropriate, your doctor can prescribe a combination of medication for high blood pressure and Viagra to treat your ED.
Your doctor may also recommend another medication that works differently than Viagra.
What Can I Do About My Erectile Dysfunction?
If you'd like to talk to a doctor about what you can do for your ED, try Phoenix Health. Phoenix is a telehealth platform that is exclusive to men's health. Phoenix has a variety of services and tools to help you get and maintain a healthy erection and regain the confidence to perform sexually with your partner. Make an appointment today to text with a doctor, no camera is required.
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.