Sexual dysfunction is associated both with hypertension and its treatment. However, most studies focusing on undesirable sexual effects of antihypertensive drugs display significant methodological biases. It is nevertheless widely accepted that diuretics and most beta-blockers do worsen erectile dysfunction, whereas renin-angiotensin system inhibitors and alpha-blockers exert neutral or favorable effects. An open and empathic discussion of sexual problems, followed by the consultation of an urologist if necessary, is likely to influence the selection and acceptability of antihypertensive drug treatment, and to improve drug adherence, thereby preventing dramatic cardio- and cerebro-vascular complications without unacceptable effects on quality of life.
What is already known about the topic?
Both hypertension and its treatment may impact sexual dysfunction. Though fragmentary, current knowledge suggests that beta-blockers and diuretics negatively impact sexual function, whereas calcium antagonists and renin-angiotensin system inhibitors exert neutral or favorable effects.
What does this article bring up for us?
This article summarizes current knowledge on the impact of antihypertensive drugs on sexual function and proposes a strategy for managing hypertensive patients with erectile dysfunction.
Erectile Dysfunction, Sexual Dysfunction, Arterial Hypertension, Blood Pressure, Antihypertensive treatment