In the world of medicine it can be hard to ascertain a relationship between drugs and the various symptoms you encounter. So many of the medicines including OTC (Over-The-Counter) can have unwanted side effects that can blindside you. We’re going to take a dive into the relationship between the more common Acid Reflux medications and Erectile Dysfunction.
Can Acid Reflux Medications Cause Erectile Dysfunction?
Erectile Dysfunction has a complex relationship with many of our body’s other physiological signs, often making causality hard to link. However, the reasonably high association between Acid Reflux medications and ED was hard to ignore for scientists who, after several studies, have determined that Acid Reflux medications can cause erectile dysfunction.
This includes a wider range of medications than you might think as well. Both Ranitidine and Omeprazole (commonly known as ‘Zantac’ and ‘Prilosec’) can cause ED. In addition, the commonly used drugs Nexium, Tagamet and Prevacid have been shown to cause ED as well. Due to the functionality of the drugs in question, it’s best to check the side effects regardless of what drug you use to see if there’s a link.
What GERD Medications Should I Look At Then?
GERD, or Gastro-esophageal Reflux Disease, is an incredibly common issue in America. Researchers have estimated as high as 20% of the population to have GERD and that number could likely be low due to unreported cases resulting from how commonplace heartburn is in our society. That’s an immense amount of the population that relies on medication to allow them to eat, sleep and go about their lives as normal. So what about the men who don’t want to trade GERD for ED?
To start, Dexilant oddly does not have any link to Erectile Dysfunction, so it’s safe in that regard. I say ‘oddly’ because it can have some daunting long term side effects, so have a discussion with your Gastroenterologist first before taking it. It can also be quite pricey and is typically not covered by insurance.
Protonix is another that seems to be safe from the side effect, though it can cause joint pain. If you need an additional option, Aciphex does not have ED listed as a side effect either. All three of those medications typically require prescriptions whereas the OTC medications have a strong link to ED, so it’s mainly a function of how each medication works.
Ruling Out Other Causes
When you’re figuring out your body’s puzzle, it’s important to narrow down the other causes to eliminate them. Though these medications can cause ED, it doesn’t mean that they will and everyone reacts differently. It’s recommended that you try the following to make sure your Erectile Dysfunction isn’t being influenced by an outside factor:
- Avoid foods that trigger heartburn
This one is simply easier said than done as GERD sufferers often have many triggers. If you’re one of the lucky few that is only set off by a specific type of food, such as fried foods, then try eliminating that from your diet first.
- Don’t lie down after a meal
If you generate more stomach acid than normal, lying down after a meal will cause the acid to splash back up into the lining of the esophagus.
- Don’t eat before bed
The Gastric Emptying process slows considerably during sleep, so avoid eating too close to bedtime.
- Elevate or tilt the head of your bed
This simply uses gravity to keep the stomach acid out of the esophageal lining.
- Keep a healthy weight
Excess weight can put pressure on the stomach and squeeze the acid upwards.
- Quit cigarettes and alcohol
Doing these can damage the stomach valve that keeps acid out of your esophagus.
I’ve Tried Those, What Next?
If you are suffering from ED and need Acid Reflux medications to manage your symptoms then Revived Performance for Men is here to help. Our Board Certified Physician Assistant will guide you to finding the right solution, no matter your situation.
Schedule a free consultation or call us at (720) 263-9344 to get started!