Effects of antihypertensive agents on sexual function

Weiss, R.J.

American Family Physician 44(6): 2075-2082


ISSN/ISBN: 0002-838X
PMID: 1684081
Document Number: 379017
Patient compliance with antihypertensive therapy can be improved by minimizing drug-induced sexual dysfunction. Impotence, decreased libido, impaired ejaculation and gynecomastia are potential side effects, depending on the agent prescribed. Centrally acting antihypertensive agents such as methyldopa and clonidine, nonselective beta-adrenergic blockers and potassium-sparing diuretics are the drugs most often associated with sexual dysfunction. Thiazide diuretics cause impotence but may otherwise play a minimal role in sexual dysfunction. Alpha-adrenergic blockers, angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors and calcium channel blockers have little adverse effect on sexual function. It is important to obtain an adequate history before and after initiating therapy. If sexual dysfunction develops in a patient, a different class of medication can be tried.

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