Do beta blockers cause erectile dysfunction?

Do beta blockers cause erectile dysfunction?
Published : Feb 04, 2024
Last Updated : Apr 07, 2024

Erectile dysfunction is a common sexual health issue among men, which causes trouble to get and maintain hard erections.

If we talk about erectile dysfunction, there can be several causes, including medical disorders & drugs used to treat them.

Beta-blockers, which are used to treat high blood pressure, are one type of medicine that frequently induces ED in men.

You might even notice changes in your ability to get an erection if beta-blockers have been prescribed to you.

Occasionally, beta-blockers can even cause other types of changes to your sexual function.

What do you mean by beta-blockers?

Beta-blockers are medicines that work by decreasing the effects of certain chemicals, such as epinephrine, on receptors in the body.

Such medications prevent these substances from attaching to beta-receptors.

You need to know that beta receptors are a class of receptors present in your heart and other organs.

Doctors often prescribe beta-blockers to treat various heart-related ailments, including:

  • Chest pain

  • Recurring heart attacks

  • High blood pressure

  • Abnormal heart rhythms

Sometimes, beta-blockers are also effective in treating medical conditions like:

  • Glaucoma

  • Overactive thyroid

  • Migraine

Regarding beta-blockers, there are three types: B1, B2, and B3.

B1 receptors are mainly present in your heart area, and B2 receptors in other organs & contribute to metabolic activity.

On the other hand, B3 receptors help in breaking down fat cells present in your body.

Beta-blockers obstruct some receptors of your nervous system that are affected by chemicals like epinephrine.

Epinephrine further blocks your blood vessels and causes blood to pump more forcefully.

By blocking these receptors, beta-blockers restrict a part of your nervous system that allows you to attain an erection.

Some common types of beta-blocker medicines include:

  • Bisoprolol

  • Atenolol

  • Metoprolol

  • Carvedilol

  • Labetalol

  • Sotalol

  • Propranolol

About Erectile Dysfunction:

ED is a sexual problem in which a man is unable to get or keep an erection sufficient for sexual intimacy. Impotence or ED-like condition may appear due to physical or psychological factors or with a combination of both. Certain medications may also lead to drug-related erectile dysfunction and may affect male sex life.

Beta-blockers and erectile dysfunction Relation

Just like other medicines, beta-blockers can also make you suffer from specific side effects such as sexual dysfunction like ED.

When prescribed a beta blocker as blood pressure medicine, you might experience trouble in attaining an erection for sexual intercourse.

Beta-blockers might restrict you from enjoying the firm erections that you enjoyed before starting medication.

By affecting blood flow to the soft tissue inside male sexual organs, beta-blockers can cause men to have erectile dysfunction.

Commonly prescribed beta-blockers like antihypertensive medicines can lead to an increased risk of ED in men.

Diuretics

Some other blood pressure-lowering medicines, like diuretics, can also contribute to erectile dysfunction disorder.

Diuretics make you urinate too often and leave less fluid in your circulation. As a result, blood pressure is lowered.

Remember, diuretics can even relax muscles present in your circulatory system.

These further decrease the flow of blood to the male reproductive organ, which is essential to achieving an erection.

Other blood pressure medicines

Some other blood pressure medicines might also increase your chance of suffering from erectile dysfunction.

Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors and calcium channel blockers can decrease high blood pressure.

What are some practical ways to treat erectile dysfunction?

Whether it develops as a side effect of beta-blockers or is a result of performance anxiety or physical health disorder, ED can be treated.

If you are taking beta blockers and feel like you are unable to achieve or sustain an erection, then contact your doctor before starting treatment.

A doctor might adjust the dosage of your beta-blocker medicine and recommend different cardiovascular medicine.

Your doctor can also tell you other changes that can decrease the risk of experiencing ED or other unwanted effects.

Without talking to your doctor, do not stop your treatment with beta-blocker medication suddenly. 

Stopping your treatment abruptly can reverse the beneficial effects of beta blockers and disturb your blood pressure or heart health. 

In some instances, doctors can also prescribe medicines that will increase blood flow to the male sexual organs and improve erections.

Some popular medications for treating erectile dysfunction recommended by doctors include:

  • Viagra

  • Cialis

  • Levitra

  • Stendra

You must know all these ED medicines belong to a class of drugs called PDE5 inhibitors.

After a valid prescription from a doctor, you can easily order ED medicines from a licensed online pharmacy.

One of the best things about buying ED drugs from online medical stores is that you can get exciting deals and discounts.

For most men worldwide, ED medicines are safe and effective.

Nevertheless, they can cause interactions with some drugs like nitrates and other types of medicines that treat heart disease.

This makes it necessary to discuss with your doctor all other medicines you currently take before considering treatment with any ED pills.

Your doctor can guide you about how ED medicines are taken safely for treating erectile dysfunction and improving sexual performance.

Apart from taking medicine, making changes to your lifestyle habits can also help you quickly get an erection.

Remember, erections are all about healthy blood flow, and several habits can aid you in enjoying firm erections.

Additionally, healthy habits like not taking alcohol and quitting smoking can benefit your heart health and blood pressure.

Some other good habits for treating erectile dysfunction include maintaining a healthy weight, avoiding illegal drugs, and being physically active.

If psychological problems like anxiety or stress cause your ED, then you can undergo expert therapy.

In short, it can be said that beta-blockers often contribute to erectile dysfunction disorder in men.

But there is good news: several methods can help you manage medicine-induced ED without sacrificing your health.

Therefore, contact your doctor immediately when you suffer from ED due to beta-blockers or other medicines.

When to see a doctor

You must take your blood pressure drug exactly as prescribed. This will help you minimize the risk of side effects that blood pressure medications may cause when taken incorrectly. If you experience ED symptoms as a side effect of your beta-blocker, then you should talk to your doctor. They may lower your dosage or switch you to another drug to prevent any risk.

You may also ask your healthcare provider to switch to the beta-blocker Nebivolol. Research shows that Nebivolol is one of the best options for treating high blood pressure and preventing the risk of ED.

Also, if the above strategies don't help, ED drugs may be an option for some people. However, it is essential to make informed choices only under professional advice. Consult a doctor before stopping or starting any medications or other supplements or herbal remedies to your regimen. Following these steps can help you avoid drug interactions or other adverse effects on your health.

Frequently Asked Questions about beta-blockers and Erectile Dysfunction (ED)

Can I take Viagra while on beta-blockers?

Yes, you can take Viagra(Sildenafil) while on beta-blockers, but only after consulting a doctor. You may take Viagra once a day as needed, one hour before sexual intercourse. Viagra doesn't interact with beta-blockers, but it may interact with other medicines used to treat high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease. It may interact with the following medications:

  • Alpha-blockers

  • Ritonavir

  • Nitrates

  • Amlodipine

Can beta-blockers affect Testosterone?

Beta-blockers can contribute to ED, as these drugs may decrease Nitric oxide except Nebivolol. However, it's still unclear whether they affect testosterone levels or not. Another reason for the decrease in testosterone levels can be a growing age. Low levels of Testosterone may contribute to a reduced sex drive and affect erectile function, fatigue and other symptoms.

Is ED from beta-blockers reversible?

Depending on the underlying causes, Erectile dysfunction can be reversible. If you suspect the use of Beta-blockers is the cause of your ED, you should consult with your doctor. They may advise you to switch to Nebivolol. Also, your doctor may suggest your ED medications that work to improve or decrease blood flow to the penis to help you get erections.

Takeaway

Beta-blockers, commonly used to treat high blood pressure, can induce erectile dysfunction (ED) by affecting blood flow to male sexual organs and restricting firm erections. This side effect is common among medications, including diuretics and other blood pressure drugs.

Treating ED, whether caused by beta-blockers or other factors, involves consulting a doctor. You may need dose adjustments or find other alternative cardiovascular treatments. Medications like Viagra and lifestyle changes such as maintaining a healthy weight and quitting smoking can help manage ED.

Nebivolol may be a preferable beta-blocker option to prevent ED risk. You must always seek medical advice before altering medication regimens to avoid adverse effects.