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Drugs that may cause impotence

Alternative Names

Impotence caused by medications; Drug-induced erectile dysfunction

Information

Various medications and recreational drugs can have an effect on sexual arousal and sexual performance. What causes impotence in one man may not affect another man.

If you think that a medication you are taking is having a negative effect on your sexual performance, discuss the matter with your health care provider. Never stop taking any medication without first consulting your health care provider, because some medications can produce life-threatening reactions if they are not carefully and slowly stopped or switched appropriately.

The following is a list of medications and nonprescription drugs that may cause impotence:

Antidepressants and other psychiatric medications:

  • Amitriptyline (Elavil)
  • Amoxapine (Asendin)
  • Buspirone (Buspar)
  • Chlordiazepoxide (Librium)
  • Chlorpromazine (Thorazine)
  • Clomipramine (Anafranil)
  • Clorazepate (Tranxene)
  • Desipramine (Norpramin)
  • Diazepam (Valium)
  • Doxepin (Sinequan)
  • Fluoxetine (Prozac)
  • Fluphenazine (Prolixin)
  • Imipramine (Tofranil)
  • Isocarboxazid (Marplan)
  • Lorazepam (Ativan)
  • Meprobamate (Equanil)
  • Mesoridazine (Serentil)
  • Nortriptyline (Pamelor)
  • Oxazepam (Serax)
  • Phenelzine (Nardil)
  • Phenytoin (Dilantin)
  • Sertraline (Zoloft)
  • Thioridazine (Mellaril)
  • Thiothixene (Navane)
  • Tranylcypromine (Parnate)
  • Trifluoperazine (Stelazine)

Antihistamine medications (certain classes of antihistamines are also used to treat heartburn):

  • Cimetidine (Tagamet)
  • Dimenhydrinate (Dramamine)
  • Diphenhydramine (Benadryl)
  • Hydroxyzine (Vistaril)
  • Meclizine (Antivert)
  • Nizatidine (Axid)
  • Promethazine (Phenergan)
  • Ranitidine (Zantac)

High blood pressure medicines and diuretics ("water pills"):

  • Atenolol (Tenormin)
  • Bethanidine
  • Bumetanide (Bumex)
  • Captopril (Capoten)
  • Chlorothiazide (Diuril)
  • Chlorthalidone (Hygroton)
  • Clonidine (Catapres)
  • Enalapril (Vasotec)
  • Furosemide (Lasix)
  • Guanabenz (Wytensin)
  • Guanethidine (Ismelin)
  • Guanfacine (Tenex)
  • Haloperidol (Haldol)
  • Hydralazine (Apresoline)
  • Hydrochlorothiazide (Esidrix)
  • Labetalol (Normodyne)
  • Methyldopa (Aldomet)
  • Metoprolol (Lopressor)
  • Nifedipine (Adalat, Procardia)
  • Phenoxybenzamine (Dibenzyline)
  • Phentolamine (Regitine)
  • Prazosin (Minipress)
  • Propranolol (Inderal)
  • Reserpine (Serpasil)
  • Spironolactone (Aldactone)
  • Triamterene (Maxzide)
  • Verapamil (Calan)

Among the antihypertensive medications, thiazides are the most common cause of ED, followed by beta-blockers. Alpha-blockers are, in general, less likely to cause this problem.

Parkinson's disease medications:

  • Benztropine (Cogentin)
  • Biperiden (Akineton)
  • Bromocriptine (Parlodel)
  • Levodopa (Sinemet)
  • Procyclidine (Kemadrin)
  • Trihexyphenidyl (Artane)

Chemotherapy and hormonal medications:

  • Antiandrogens (Casodex, Flutamide, Nilutamide)
  • Busulfan (Myleran)
  • Cyclophosphamide (Cytoxan)
  • Ketoconazole
  • LHRH agonists (Lupron, Zoladex)

Other medications:

  • Aminocaproic acid (Amicar)
  • Atropine
  • Clofibrate (Atromid-S)
  • Cyclobenzaprine (Flexeril)
  • Cyproterone
  • Digoxin (Lanoxin)
  • Disopyramide (Norpace)
  • Estrogen
  • Finasteride (Propecia, Proscar, Avodart)
  • Furazolidone (Furoxone)
  • H2 blockers (Tagamet, Zantac, Pepcid)
  • Indomethacin (Indocin)
  • Lipid-lowering agents
  • Licorice
  • Metoclopramide (Reglan)
  • NSAIDs (Ibuprofen, etc.)
  • Orphenadrine (Norflex)
  • Prochlorperazine (Compazine)
  • Pseudoephedrine (Sudafed)

Opiate analgesics (painkillers)

  • Codeine
  • Fentanyl (Innovar)
  • Hydromorphone (Dilaudid)
  • Meperidine (Demerol)
  • Methadone
  • Morphine
  • Oxycodone (Oxycontin, Percodan)

Recreational drugs:

References

McVary KT. Clinical practice: Erectile dysfunction. N Engl J Med. 2007;357:2472-2481.

Review Date: 8/30/2011
Reviewed By: A.D.A.M. Editorial Team: David Zieve, MD, MHA, and David R. Eltz. Previously reviewed by Louis S. Liou MD, PhD, Chief of Urology, Cambridge Health Alliance, Visiting Assistant Professor of Surgery, Harvard Medical School. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network (10/11/2010).
The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
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