Sexual Health Q&A

What should heart patients know about medications and sex?

Some heart and blood pressure drugs do have sexual side effects, such as a decrease in sex drive. If this happens, patients should not stop taking their medication.

Instead, patients are encouraged to talk to their doctor. It might be possible to switch to another medication with fewer side effects. It may take time to find the right medicine, but it’s important to make heart health the priority.

Also, men who are taking nitrates for heart disease should not take erectile dysfunction (ED) drugs like Viagra, Cialis, and Levitra. Taking these drugs together could make a man’s blood pressure drop to a dangerous level.

Men with ED and heart disease may need to try a different ED treatment. Vacuum erection devices and penile implants are two options. Lifestyle changes can be effective, too. A urologist can help a man decide what steps are best for him.