How Can Blood Pressure Meds Affect Sexual Drive
An estimated 103 million Americans have high blood pressure, which is roughly half of America’s adult population. Research shows that men, especially men who are younger than 50, are more likely to develop high blood pressure than women. Many men are taking antihypertensive drugs to help control their hypertension, but how many do they know the effects of blood pressure drugs on sex drive?
There have been numerous studies that show that the use of blood pressure medicines can contribute to or cause erectile dysfunction. It is actually one of the most common and also disturbing side effects of these medicines for men who take them.
But the effects of blood pressure medications on a man’s libido as well as his ability to achieve orgasm is another side effect not often discussed. Hence, drugs for blood pressure will bring a double whammy to a man’s sex life.
What Blood Pressure Drug Can Interfere with Sex Drive?
Diuretics (water pills) and beta-blockers are the two types of blood pressure medications most associated with the sexual side effects. Diuretics are typically the first antihypertensive drugs prescribed by a doctor. These may include diuretics of thiazide (e.g. chlorthalidone, chlorothiazide, hydrochlorothiazide, indapamide) and diuretics of potassium-sparing nature (e.g. amiloride, bumetanide, furosemide, spironolactone, triamterene).
Doctors prescribe two diuretics in many instances so men have to deal with two medicines that can put a damper on their libido. Another option is to take a diuretic and a beta-blocker together. The Beta-blocker class includes acebutolol, atenolol, bisoprolol, metoprolol, nadolol, nebivolol, and propranolol.
Diuretics are less having side effects when used in a combination treatment. Taking a beta-blocker along with a diuretic, for example, would reduce the side effects of the latter drug. Nevertheless, when you think about lack of sex drive, both of these classes of drugs are associated with this side effect.
Other drug classes recommended for controlling high blood pressure are ACE inhibitors (benazepril, captopril, enalapril, fosinopril, lisinopril, perindopril, ramipril, trandolapril), angiotensin receptor blockers (azilsartan, candesartan, irbesartan, losartan, olmesartan, telmisartan, valsartan), and calcium-channel blockers (amlodipine, diltiazem, felodipine, isradipine, nicardipine, nifedipine, Sexual side effects with those medications are less likely to occur.
How to Deal with Affected Sex Drive Due to Medications
When you experience a lack of libido and are taking medication for blood pressure, you should first decide whether the loss of sex drive may be linked to your use of the drug. If your lower sex drive is fresh but you’ve been taking medications for blood pressure for a long time, then the drug is definitely not the source of your lackluster libido.
But, if you started taking other medicines recently, that might be a factor. The presence of hypertension over time increases the risk of plaque accumulation, which slows the blood flow in the penis and may interfere with sex drive and erectile function.
If your sex drive started to decline shortly after you started taking your high blood pressure medicine then you should ask your doctor if you can increase the dosage or if you can temporarily stop the medication to see if your symptoms improve.
If your doctor advises you to quit your medication for a while or take right supplements for men, you should use a home monitoring device to test your blood pressure regularly at home and ensure that your pressure does not increase.
This is also an ideal opportunity to discuss lifestyle changes in diet, exercise, stress management, sleep and alcohol use with your doctor as a way to lower your blood pressure without the need for medication. Men who in this way take back control of their wellbeing also have a strong chance to recover their sexual desire.
People should also address their worries with their partner over a deterioration or loss of sex drive. Clear talk can sometimes relieve some of the tension about the situation and help restore the libido.