Can medications cause peripheral neuropathy and ED?

Medications may cause peripheral neuropathy, which may in turn lead to erectile dysfunction (ED). Among the drugs that can cause nerve damage are some used to treat cancer, prevent convulsions, fight viruses or kill bacteria. Doctors may limit the long-term use of these drugs for this reason.

Once the nerves outside the brain and spinal cord are damaged -- a disorder called peripheral neuropathy -- they may not be able to send a signal to the penis to become erect. Talk to your doctor if you have concerns that medication may be the cause of your ED.
Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
If a drug is effective, then it also carries the risk of side effects. Peripheral neuropathy is a potential side effect of certain drugs. Peripheral neuropathy is nerve damage that can occur anywhere in the body. That includes the nerves a man needs to produce an erection. Medications that can cause peripheral neuropathy include:
  • Cancer drugs
  • Drugs for treating viral infections
  • Drugs for treating bacterial infections
  • Drugs for preventing seizures
Not all drugs within each category cause peripheral neuropathy. If you think a drug you're taking may be causing erectile dysfunction, talk to your doctor. He or she may be able to prescribe an alternative medication.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.