7 Common Side Effects of Erectile Dysfunction Medications

7 Common Side Effects of Erectile Dysfunction Medication

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  • Erectile Dysfunction Medications

    Erectile Dysfunction Medications

    Erectile Dysfunction (ED), can make your sex life become non-existent. Also called impotence, ED occurs when nerves in the penis can no longer stimulate blood flow to develop an erection. This is a common occurrence that increases with age, but erectile dysfunction medications may be able to help the condition. The most well-known ED medications include:

    • Cialis  (tadalafil)
    • Viagra (sildenafil)
    • Levitra (vardenafil)

    These prescription drugs increase nitric oxide to stimulate blood flow upon sexual arousal. While ED meds can be lifesavers in the bedroom, there are some common side effects to learn about before asking for a prescription.  

  • Headaches


    Headaches are the most common side effect associated with erectile dysfunction medications. Nitric oxide helps increase blood flow to the penis to create an erection, but this sudden change in blood flow can cause a headache. It is important to know that headaches are common with all forms of ED medications, so switching brands won’t necessarily alleviate such symptoms. If your headaches are severe, talk to your doctor about methods you can use to prevent them.

  • Body Aches and Pains

    Body Aches and Pains

    Taking medicine can be a pain, and this may be especially the case when treating erectile dysfunction. Some patients experience muscle aches and general body aches, while others report lower back pain. According to the Mayo Clinic, Cialis is the primary culprit of such side effects out of all ED medications. Over-the-counter pain medication can help alleviate aches and pains, but make sure you ask a doctor before use.

  • Gastrointestinal Ailments

    Gastrointestinal Ailments

    Your ED medications can also cause uncomfortable gastrointestinal ailments. The most common are indigestion and diarrhea. Over-the-counter medicines can help alleviate minor problems, but you may also consider making dietary changes to reduce upset stomach and gastrointestinal issues. Drinking water instead of caffeine, alcohol, and juice may help.

  • Dizziness


    An increase in nitric oxide can cause dizziness in some men. This side effect is more prominent with the medication Levitra, according to the Patient Education Institute. While generally mild, dizziness can still cause discomfort during everyday activities. In rare cases, dizziness can lead to fainting, which may become a serious health issue. Remember that while dizziness is a common side effect, fainting is not.

  • Vision Changes

    Vision Changes

    ED medications can change the way you see things – literally. Certain brands can temporarily alter your eyesight, and even cause blue vision. The Mayo Clinic reports that blue vision symptoms are related to individuals who take Levitra or Viagra.

    A complete loss of vision, or changes that don’t go away, can signify a more serious issue with your ED medication. Seek emergency medical care. ED drugs aren’t recommended if you have a retinal disorder.

  • Flushing


    Flushing causes redness of the skin. Flushing can develop on the face, but may spread to virtually any part of your body. Unlike blushing, flushing looks more like a rash. The symptoms can be as mild as blotchy skin, or even as severe as rashes. According to the Mayo Clinic, flushing is most common with Levitra and Viagra. You may find flushing an occasional symptom of impotence drugs, and it may worsen when you:

    • eat hot or spicy foods
    • drink alcohol
    • are outside in warm temperatures
  • Congestion and Runny Nose

    Congestion and Runny Nose

    One of the last things you would expect of an ED medication is congestion and a runny, stuffy nose. Still, this is a common symptom you should watch out for when taking these prescription drugs. The Patient Education Institute reports that such side effects are linked to Levitra and Viagra. In most cases, symptoms of congestion will subside without a need for treatment.

  • Recognize Uncommon Side Effects

    Recognize Uncommon Side Effects

    Minor side effects are common when taking medicines for ED. Still, there are a few side effects that aren’t as common, and can even be downright dangerous. Serious side effects include:

    • erection that persists over four hours (priapism)
    • sudden changes in hearing
    • vision loss

    Address serious side effects with your doctor immediately. Erectile dysfunction medications aren’t appropriate for all men because of the risk of side effects or even drug interactions. Instead, you may consider other treatment options for ED, such as surgery or vacuum pumps.