Does Taking Multiple Medications Increase the Risk of Erectile Dysfunction for Men?

Does Taking Multiple Medications Increase the Risk of Erectile Dysfunction for Men?

Erectile dysfunction is an embarrassing condition that most men experience at some point in their lives, especially after 40. It is a condition where a man cannot form or maintain a full erection suitable enough to perform sexual intercourse. The National Institutes of Health states that erectile dysfunction affects up to 30 million men in the United States.

There are many reasons why a man could experience erectile dysfunction. The most cited reason is low levels of testosterone in older men. However, there could be a psychological or biochemical factor involved here as well. That is why younger men have reportedly experienced erectile dysfunction too. The case is different for everybody.


The British Journal of Urology released a report showing that men who take more than one medication may have a better chance of getting erectile dysfunction. The more medications that are taken, the more severe the symptoms of erectile dysfunction can be for the man. Whether this is actually true or not is still up for debate amongst the rest of the medical community.

The scientific theory is that medications formulated to treat certain health conditions may cause erectile dysfunction. Some of the most common health conditions associated with erectile dysfunction are depression, high blood pressure, diabetes, and high cholesterol. If a man takes more than three medications, they usually have a higher body mass index as well.

When Kaiser Permanente conducted a research study involving 37,712 male participants between 45 and 69 years of age, 57% of the men took over three medications. The study results revealed that 29% of these men experienced moderate to severe erectile dysfunction. It is a relatively significant number of men with more erectile dysfunction because of the medications.

The study broke down the results even further based on the specific number of medications taken.

  • Approximately 15.9% of the men on 1 to 2 medications had erectile dysfunction symptoms.
  • Approximately 19.7% of the men on 3 to 5 medications had erectile dysfunction symptoms.
  • Approximately 25.5% of the men on 6 to 9 medications had erectile dysfunction symptoms.
  • Approximately 30.9% of the men on ten or more medications had erectile dysfunction symptoms.

The study researchers did weigh other factors outside of medication use, such as high blood pressure, smoking, and diabetes. However, they ultimately concluded that taking many medications put the men at a greater risk of developing erectile dysfunction.

The results indeed indicate a fundamental link between medication and erectile dysfunction. But the findings of the study don’t go too deep into the specific medications used and the potential side effects they give to users. So perhaps less or more of one particular medication could make a difference in curing or worsening someone’s erectile dysfunction. More studies have to be done to determine this possibility.

Talk to a Doctor

If you take multiple medications and experience erectile dysfunction, you should talk to your primary care physician about the problem. Since they understand the effects of most prescription and over-the-counter medications, a good doctor can tell you whether the medicines you take are causing erectile dysfunction. If they have you on prescription medications, they may take you off those drugs or switch to alternative drugs that don’t cause erectile dysfunction.

Taking multiple random medications is not necessarily the problem. The real problem is the specific medications that someone takes simultaneously, especially if they’re prescription medications. All the versatile ingredients in these drugs can cause any number of side effects inside the human body.

Unfortunately, the medical community does not fully understand which medications and ingredients cause more erectile dysfunction. It is a working progress that continues to be explored.

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