Drug Induced Erectile Dysfunction

Human body has a series of chemical reactions and secretions taking places continuously. External drugs could be a necessity but at times is a matter of choice.

In a lot of cases, drugs that are introduced into a person’s routine can also severely impact certain chemical cycles in the body. Assessing drug indiced sexual dysfunction can be sometimes tricky because it requires close investigation to determine whether a particular drug is the cause of the perceived erectile dysfunction or whether the dysfunction is a result of the underlying disease that is being treated by the drug. Not only that, the patient may be using several drugs in unison thus making it difficult to identify one primary source of the drug induced sexual disturbance.

Usage of a wide variety of drugs or medications can impact the erectile procedure adversely. The impact of drugs shows most prominently on the central nervous system and it influences the pituitary gland axis.

Out of the variety of groups of drugs, the certain drugs have been reported to cause the majority of the drug induced dysfunction. Among the anti-hypertensive medications, thiazides are the most common cause of ED, followed by beta-blockers. Alpha-blockers are, in general, very less likely to cause this problem. Antidepressant and other psychiatric medications, antihistamine medications, high blood pressure medicines and parkinson disease medications are the usual suspects.

Different medicines have different ways of disturbing the sexual cycles. Sedative-hypnotics can depress sexual arousal and desire, tranquilizers and antidepressants lead to inhibition between erection and ejaculation. Apart from medically legalised dosages by physicians – certain recreational drugs such as heroin, cocaine, nicotine and alcohol can also impact the male sexual functions. Some drugs such as MDMA, ecstasy accentuate initial sensory build up but mar erectile function. Recent studies have also identified the adverse function of cannabis on sexual performance. Earlier this was a bed of controversy but seems, like not any longer. Cannabis affects certain receptors in the mind and the penis making it difficult to sustain an erection.
In some cases medication such as risperidone nifedipine, hydralazine, haloperidol, hydralazine and some anticoagulants can cause priapism wherein the erection lasts for an abnormal time some times over four hours.  Priapism takes place because of blood getting trapped in erection chambers or in the cases when blood cannot circulate normally through the penis. Drugs interfere with regular blood flow leading to priapism, immediate treatment of priapism is essential, failure of which can lead to permanent erectile failure.

It is better to consult a doctor in case of drug induced erectile dysfunction so that alternative medicine with less impact can substitute the continuing ED. In all or most cases of erectile dysfunction a lot of damage can be avoided if one adheres to a healthy and proportionate lifestyle.

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