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How likely are angiotensin II receptor blockers to cause erectile dysfunction?

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Drugs known as ARBs (angiotensin II receptor blockers, like Losartan) are not only unlikely to cause erection problems, but they may improve sexual function in men with high blood pressure. One study looked at the drug Cozaar, an ARB. At first, just 7% of men and women in the study said they felt sexually satisfied overall. After 12 weeks of Cozaar, about 58% said they were sexually satisfied. The percentage of men who reported having erectile dysfunction dropped from 75% to 12%. Another study compared the drug Diovan, an ARB, with Coreg, a beta-blocker. The study compared the effect of the two drugs on blood pressure and frequency of sexual intercourse. The drugs controlled blood pressure equally well. But people who took the ARB reported having sex more often during the 16 weeks of treatment. They said they had sex about eight times a month before, and 10 times a month after. People taking the beta-blocker had sex much less often: eight times a month before, and four times a month after.

SOURCES: American Urological Association, "AUA Guideline on the Management of Erectile Dysfunction: Diagnosis and Treatment Recommendations." Barksdale, J. Pharmacotherapy, May 1999; vol 19: pp 573-581. Ferrario, C. Journal of Clinical Hypertension, November/December 2002; vol 4: pp 424-432. Fogari, R. American Journal of Hypertension, January 2001; vol. 14: pp 27-31. Grimm, R. Hypertension, January 1997; vol 29: pp 8-14. Llisteri, J. American Journal of the Medical Sciences, May 2001; vol. 321: pp 336-341. WebMD Medical Reference provided in collaboration with The Cleveland Clinic: "Hypertension: Treatment With ACE Inhibitors."

Reviewed by Michael Dansinger on May 7, 2019

SOURCES: American Urological Association, "AUA Guideline on the Management of Erectile Dysfunction: Diagnosis and Treatment Recommendations." Barksdale, J. Pharmacotherapy, May 1999; vol 19: pp 573-581. Ferrario, C. Journal of Clinical Hypertension, November/December 2002; vol 4: pp 424-432. Fogari, R. American Journal of Hypertension, January 2001; vol. 14: pp 27-31. Grimm, R. Hypertension, January 1997; vol 29: pp 8-14. Llisteri, J. American Journal of the Medical Sciences, May 2001; vol. 321: pp 336-341. WebMD Medical Reference provided in collaboration with The Cleveland Clinic: "Hypertension: Treatment With ACE Inhibitors."

Reviewed by Michael Dansinger on May 7, 2019

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What should you do if your high blood pressure medicine causes erectile dysfunction?

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