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Mixing Erectile Dysfunction Medication & Alcohol: What Are the Risks?

Reviewed by
Date published
16/06/2022
Date last updated
25/05/2022
Length of read
5 Minutes

There are dangers and risks associated with any kind of excessive drinking, and drinking excessively while taking any form of treatment is likely to result in health complications – with erectile dysfunction medication being no different.

Here are the risks that come with combining erectile dysfunction medication with alcohol, and some of the ways in which the medication will be affected.

What Is Erectile Dysfunction?

Erectile dysfunction, more commonly referred to as ED, is a problem known as impotence that affects millions of men. ED refers to the condition in which a man has trouble getting or keeping an erection that is firm enough to engage in sexual activity.

The condition is extremely common, and can occur either completely or mildly, depending on the individual and their health and lifestyle. According to research and studies, erectile dysfunction can affect 10% of men for every decade of their life, with approximately 50% of men between the ages of 40 and 70 experiencing the condition to some degree.

The causes of erectile dysfunction differ depending on the individual, though these can include being a result of mental disorders, neurological disorders, emotional reasons such as stress or anxiety, as a result of taking a certain medication, or due to issues with the blood flow in and around the penis.

What Is Erectile Dysfunction Medication?

Erectile dysfunction medication works by helping to relax the muscles that are found within the walls of the blood vessels within the penis, which in turn increases the blood flow to the penis resulting in an erection.

Can You Drink While Taking Erectile Dysfunction Medication?

It is recommended that you drink alcohol only in moderation while taking erectile dysfunction medication – which is considered less than 3 drinks in a day for men. Drinking any more than this amount can not only be dangerous, but can also alter the effectiveness of the medication, which will waste both your time and money in the long run.

For many men, the dangers of worsening side-effects or health implications are simply not worth the risk, and they choose not to drink at all while taking erectile dysfunction medication, to avoid any possibility of risk occurring.

What Are The Risks Of Mixing Alcohol With Erectile Dysfunction Medication?

Erectile dysfunction tablets such as Viagra (one of the world’s most popular brands) will often lower blood pressure, which is what alcohol tends to do too. Combining both the medication and the alcohol together puts men at risk of developing low pressure, with symptoms such as weakness and dizziness likely to be experienced.

Low pressure can also put men at risk of fainting or falling, while long periods of low blood pressure result in the body being without oxygen, which leads to further risks such as heart or brain damage due to a lack of critical function being performed. Aside from the health risks, low blood pressure will make it more difficult for blood to remain in the penis, and can therefore be counter-productive in the goal of achieving an erection.

Long-Term Alcohol Consumption

The long-term abuse of alcohol while taking a medication such as Viagra can also make erectile dysfunction worse, resulting in an opposite effect occurring. For some men, long-term use of alcohol is linked to inflammation of the prostate gland (prostatitis), which is a condition that can be connected to erectile dysfunction. Therefore, combining Viagra and alcohol together, especially over a long period of time, can significantly increase the chances of developing erectile dysfunction.

Other erectile dysfunction medications such as Cialis, an alternative to Viagra, can have similar risks and complications when mixed with alcohol. Though similar to the popular blue pill, Cialis is slightly different in its effects. The treatment can potentially remain active within the body for up to 36 hours – though the risks associated with alcohol are the same. It is not recommended that Cialis be taken when drinking excessively, and while you are able to drink in moderation while on the medication, it could reduce the effectiveness of the drug. Likewise, consuming alcohol may also exacerbate any side-effects that the medication may cause you to experience.

What Are The Risks Of Excessive Drinking?

Further risks of drinking too much alcohol include multiple health complications and impairments. These can include, but are not limited to:

  • Decrease in overall wellness
  • Poor sleep and insomnia
  • Lowered immune system function
  • Dehydration
  • Poor nutrition.

Participating in alcohol abuse can also lead to osteoporosis, vitamin deficiencies and nerve damage, too. If you feel you’re drinking too much or are struggling to control and moderate your drinking, book in to have a consultation with your GP for further support.