Sexual Health Q&A

How many men give up on erectile dysfunction (ED) medications? Why?

It is estimated that about one-third of men who are prescribed ED medications stop taking them after one prescription. About half of men stop taking them within 6 months.

Cost, side effects, and a decreased interest in sex (in the man or his partner) are all reasons men stop taking ED drugs.

A man may also feel that the medication doesn’t work. If this is the case, he should check in with his doctor. Sometimes, changing medications can help.

ED medications come in “families.” A man might not have success with one ED medication, but another drug from the same family may work quite well. Drugs belonging to the same family should be tried 4-6 times before a man decides whether they are effective.

Also, side effects of ED drugs can depend on the individual. A man may get moderate headaches with one drug, but no headaches at all with another drug from the same drug family.