Erectile dysfunction (ED) is a problem that affects millions of men across the United States, and hundreds of millions of men globally. It can be caused by many things, such as diabetes and depression, but aging seems to be the most common cause of erectile dysfunction.
In some rare cases, however, certain forms of medication may be an underlying factor for ED in aging men. One such medication that gets talked about often in relation to one’s sexual function and erectile dysfunction is beta-blockers.
Beta-blockers are among the most commonly prescribed drugs in America today. These drugs are mainly used to treat conditions like high blood pressure, heart disease, and migraines.
That said, does beta-blockers also inadvertently affect a man’s sexual function? Are you unknowingly suffering the unintended consequences of taking this form of medication?
In this article, we’ll take a look at the effects of beta-blockers on ED, how they work and who might be affected by them. Plus, we’ll share some available treatment options.
What Do Beta Blockers Do?
Beta-blockers work by blocking the hormone epinephrine or adrenaline, which is used to control and slow down your heart rate and blood pressure. They do this by facilitating the expansion of arteries and veins, which is beneficial to blood flow circulation throughout the body.
Beta-blockers are not usually recommended for older folks and black people, with most doctors prescribing diuretics as the first line of defense.
Some of the symptoms that beta-blockers deal with include the following:
- High blood pressure
- Heart failure
- Heart attack
- Body tremors
It’s also usually the case that doctors prescribe other forms of medicine alongside beta-blockers to treat these health conditions.
Patients shouldn’t abruptly stop taking beta-blockers as doing so can increase the risk of a heart infection or heart attack.
What Are the Side Effects of Beta Blockers?
Beta-blockers are not quite performance-enhancing drugs, but they can affect your ability to get an erection in a variety of ways.
Usually, this is due to its primary effect on lowering blood pressure around the body—which may consequently restrict the regular flow of blood to the penis.
The common side effects one can suffer from taking beta-blockers include:
- Weight gain
- Cold extremities (hands and feet)
- Sleep troubles
- Shortness of breath
In addition, taking beta-blockers may also trigger asthma attacks in asthmatic people, so doctors typically prescribe other medication to serve as an alternative.
Beta-blockers may also affect people with diabetes as this medication can block signs of low blood sugar levels in the body.
Thus, if you’re taking beta-blockers and have diabetes, it’s important to consult with a doctor for a thorough examination of symptoms.
While beta-blockers are beneficial for treating a variety of symptoms, there’s sufficient evidence that certain types of them can worsen existing symptoms too.
Now, let’s look at how beta-blockers are linked with erectile dysfunction.
Beta Blockers and Erectile Dysfunction – What’s the Connection?
There’s a small but noticeable connection between beta-blocker pills and the development of symptoms that cause erectile dysfunction, although the connection is less common than you may be led to believe.
Erectile dysfunction is a less common side effect among patients who take these particular high blood pressure drugs, only occurring in less than 1% of patients. These drugs consist of the following:
- ACE inhibitors
- Calcium channel blockers
Despite its rarity, it’s still possible to develop sexual dysfunction when on beta-blockers. For instance, beta-blockers like Atenolol, a common HBP medication, may lead to problems in erectile function.
However, there have also been newer studies that showed that most cases of ED arising from beta-blockers are mere placebos. Patients exposed to the positive relationship between ED and beta-blockers are more likely to suffer ED symptoms than those who are unaware of the connection.
This means that patients are more likely to experience psychological effects such as anxiety—a valid causative factor of ED—due to prejudice about this type of medication, which causes symptoms of ED to manifest.
If that’s the case, your doctor may prescribe another medication to deal with your mental health that is less likely to interfere with your sexual function.
Treating Erectile Dysfunction
Regardless of the source of your erectile dysfunction, it’s vital to get it treated before it worsens.
Erectile dysfunction can be one of the most debilitating conditions to live with, especially when you and your partner still want to remain sexually active.
Fortunately, there are a number of ways to recover from erectile dysfunction.
Here are some treatment methods that doctors may prescribe to you to treat erectile dysfunction.
Erectile Dysfunction Therapy
Medication to treat erectile dysfunction is one of the most popular ways of fighting ED, however, these pills are riddled with side effects.
While the majority of industry-leading pills may provide temporary relief to allow men to get going and maintain an erection suitable for sexual intercourse, these pills do not target the root causes of dysfunction.
Instead, opt for a consultation to learn more about erectile dysfunction therapy from a medical professional who can diagnose the underlying causes of erectile dysfunction in order to provide a sustainable ED treatment plan that is customized to your needs.
Undergo Testosterone Therapy
While many men turn to often dangerous ED pills, these options are typically temporary measures for erectile dysfunction that only treat the symptoms of dysfunction.
If you want more long-lasting effects without the upkeep, clinically-prescribed testosterone therapy from a professional sexual doctor can help you gain improved erectile function on a more permanent basis.
This form of therapy may include the following:
- Skin patches
To find out if you’re unique sexual history and symptoms may be improved through one of these forms of therapy, contact Orlando’s leading men’s medical specialists at Premier Men’s Medical Center.
Penile injections are a form of treatment where a very fine needle is poked into the skin of the penis, increasing blood flow to the penis and allowing medication to get absorbed quickly into the body.
While this treatment is safe for the most part, patients who have pre-existing blood flow issues and vascular diseases are better off trying other methods to restore erectile function.
In many instances, penile injections may not be necessary if testosterone or ED therapy is successful.
Contact Orlando’s Top ED Clinic to Treat the Underlying Erectile Dysfunction Issues
Current evidence suggests that erectile dysfunction (ED) in men taking beta-blockers is rare and not clinically significant. Patients who believe that beta-blockers are causing their ED are likely to just be under the placebo effect and are experiencing psychological ED instead.
Nonetheless, erectile dysfunction is a very real problem that affects 170 million men worldwide.
If you’re experiencing symptoms of the disease, contact an expert doctor today for proper diagnosis and treatment.
The medical professionals at Premier Men’s Medical Center in Orlando specialize in treating conditions that impact men’s health. Our concierge approach positions your unique case at the centerpoint of our focus. We don’t just give you a pill for ED and send you on your way. As one of Orlando’s top ED clinics, we treat the underlying issues that led to conditions such as ED, PE, Low Testosterone, and more. Contact our office today to schedule an appointment.