Certain drugs used to control cholesterol and blood pressure don’t affect a man’s erectile function, according to recent findings in the Canadian Journal of Cardiology.
Men with heart conditions often develop erectile dysfunction (ED) and worry that their erection troubles are side effects of such drugs. The new trial results allow doctors to reassure their patients that this is not necessarily the case.
The randomized, controlled trial, a substudy of the Heart Outcomes Prevention Evaluation-3 (HOPE-3) trial, focused on two medications: rosuvastatin, a statin that reduces cholesterol, and candesartan with hydrochlorothiazide (HCTZ), a combination drug that lowers blood pressure.
Over 2,000 men were randomly assigned to take rosuvastatin, HCTZ, a combination of both rosuvastatin and HCTZ, or a placebo. The men’s average age was 62 years. To assess erections, the men completed the International Index of Erectile Function (IIEF) questionnaire at the start of the study and again at a follow-up point several years later. (The average follow-up duration was almost 6 years.)
The researchers did not see any significant changes between the baseline and follow-up evaluations and concluded that the two drugs, used alone or together, did not improve or worsen erectile function.
“This study shows that lowering these critically important cardiac risk factors using these medications has little impact on changes in erectile function,” said lead investigator Dr. Philip Joseph in a press release. Dr. Joseph is an Assistant Professor of Medicine at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.
“Men who develop ED while on such medications commonly attribute their symptoms to the medications. Our findings suggest that these two medications do not negatively impact erectile function, which should be reassuring to men who are taking them,” Dr. Joseph added.
Canadian Journal of Cardiology
Joseph, Philip MD, et al.
“Long-term Effects of Statins, Blood Pressure-Lowering, and Both on Erectile Function in Persons at Intermediate Risk for Cardiovascular Disease: A Substudy of the Heart Outcomes Prevention Evaluation-3 (HOPE-3) Randomized Controlled Trial”
(Abstract. January 2018)
Mancini, G.B. John MD, FRCPC, FACC
“Cardiovascular Risk Reduction and Male Sexual Health: No Free Ride”
(Editorial. January 2018)
“Medications to treat cardiovascular risk factors do not impact erectile function”
(Press release. January 29, 2018)
“Impotence Among Heart Patients Not the Fault of Meds, Study Finds”
(February 7, 2018)
Medscape Medical News
“HOPE-3: No Effect of CVD Drugs on Erectile Function”
(February 15, 2018)