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Drugs that may cause impotence

Alternative Names

Impotence caused by medications; Drug-induced erectile dysfunction; Prescription medicines and impotence

Information

Many medicines and recreational drugs can affect a man's sexual arousal and sexual performance. What causes impotence in one man may not affect another man.

Talk to your health care provider if you think that a drug is having a negative effect on your sexual performance. Never stop taking any medicine without first talking to your provider. Some medicines may lead to life-threatening reactions if you do not take care when stopping or changing them.

The following is a list of some medicines and drugs that may cause impotence in men. There may be additional drugs other than those on this list that can cause erectile difficulties.

Antidepressants and other psychiatric medicines:

  • 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 medicines (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)

Thiazides are the most common cause of impotence among the high blood pressure medicines. The next most common cause is beta blockers. Alpha blockers tend to be less likely to cause this problem.

Parkinson disease medicines:

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

Chemotherapy and hormonal medicines:

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

Other medicines:

  • 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)
  • Sumatriptan (Imitrex)

Opiate analgesics (painkillers):

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

Recreational drugs:

References

Burnett AL. Evaluation and management of erectile dysfunction. In: Wein AJ, Kavoussi LR, Partin AW, Peters CA, eds. Campbell-Walsh Urology. 11th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2016:chap 27.

McVary KT. Clinical practice: erectile dysfunction. N Engl J Med. 2007;357(24):2472-2481. PMID: 18077811 www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18077811.

Waller DG, Sampson AP, Renwick AG, Hillier K. Erectile dysfunction. In: Waller DG, Sampson AP, Renwick AG, Hillier K, eds. Medical Pharmacology and Therapeutics. 4th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2014:chap 16.

Review Date:2/5/2017
Reviewed By:Jennifer Sobol, DO, urologist with the Michigan Institute of Urology, West Bloomfield, MI. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

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