Men: Are Your Medications Making You Impotent?

A shocking report was published in the prestigious Journal of Urology in May, 2006. Middle-aged and older men who take aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB), or naproxen (Aleve) have twice the risk for impotence as men who don’t! The researchers concluded that the use of NSAIDs increased the risk of erectile dysfunction. The study estimated that nearly 17% of erectile dysfunction could be due to the use of NSAIDs. The researchers proposed that the NSAIDs may block the body’s release of nitric oxide, a natural body chemical needed to achieve erections.[i]

5 Worst Medications for Healthy Male Sexual Function[ii] [iii]


2. Blood pressure medications, especially beta blockers and diuretics

3. Antidepressants

4. Anti-anxiety medications

5. Antihistamines

Caution: Do not discontinue any medications without first consulting with your physician. There may be alternatives, both natural and pharmaceutical, that can replace them under your doctor’s supervision. For example, a recent study found that almost all anti-depressants were no more effective than a placebo.[iv] Alternatives such as St. John’s Wort may help depression as well, or better, without the side effects.[v] However, withdrawal from prescription anti-depressants must be done under your doctor’s care as there may be severe side effects.

Prevent Pain Without Impotence

If you are in pain, you probably reach for a bottle of aspirin or Advil. Who would ever have thought that common over-the-counter pain pills could cause impotence? Fortunately, there are natural alternatives that may be just as effective—without the side effects of impotence and GI bleeding. If you are taking NSAIDs for arthritis or other pain and inflammation, consider taking a natural alternative such as boswellia, turmeric, hops extract, ginger, vitamin D3 or a formula that combines several of these natural pain and inflammation relievers. Scientific research has shown that they can be as potent as NSAIDs, without the dangerous side effects.

Boswellia, for example, has been shown to be as effective as an NSAID for osteoarthritis in the knee. It is a potent anti-inflammatory.[vi]

[i] Shiri R, et al. Effect of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug use on the incidence of erectile dysfunction J Urol. 2006 May;175(5):1812-16.

[ii] Viera AJ, et al. Newer pharmacologic alternatives for erectile dysfunction. Am Fam Phys. 1999 Sep 15: (60)4.

[iii] Shiri (2006).

[iv] Kirsch I, et al. Initial Severity and Antidepressant Benefits: A Meta-Analysis of Data Submitted to the Food and Drug Administration. PLoS Medicine Vol. 5, No. 2, e45.
Published online: February 26, 2008. doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.0050045 Available from: doi

[v] Kirsch I. St Johns wort, conventional medication, and placebo: an egregious double standard. Complementary Therapies in Medicine, Volume 11, Issue 3, Pages 193-195.

[vi] Sontakke S, et al. Open, randomized, controlled clinical trial of Boswellia serrata extract as compared to valdecoxib in osteoarthritis of the knee. Indian J Pharmacol. 2007;39(1):27-29.

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