Painkillers for chronic back pain linked to erectile dysfunction in men

A new study from the Oregon Health & Science University suggests men who take prescription painkillers (opioids) for chronic back pain have a higher risk of erectile dysfunction (ED), according to a news release on May 15. The findings are associated with the long-term use of painkiller medications and not to be confused with episodic, occasional use.

Other health conditions, including depression, with the use of sedative hypnotics such as benzodiazepines also raised the risk of ED. The researchers’ conclusions were collected from patients who received prescriptions for ED along with opioids and sedatives.

ED occurs when a man has consistent and repeated problems sustaining an erection, which can make sexual intercourse difficult. The difficulty can be arise from medical and/or emotional culprits.

Albeit ED is more common in older men, it can happen at any age.

Erectile Problem Checklist

Communication in relationships regarding health conditions such as ED can help reduce the anxiety of intimacy, as ED is not an indicator of disinterest. Additionally, it is not the same as a decreased libido as many individuals believe.

The findings do not suggest the painkiller medications are the cause of ED, but the association could lead to better treatment plans for men with ED concerns.

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