Does Xanax Cause Erectile Dysfunction?
Xanax is the brand name for alprazolam, a tranquilizer (anti-anxiety drug) that can help treat panic disorder and other anxiety disorders. It belongs to a group of medications called benzodiazepines, which also includes Ativan (lorazepam) and Valium (diazepam).
Like many prescription drugs, Xanax may cause erectile dysfunction (ED). ED makes it difficult to get or keep an erection long enough to have sex.
How Does Xanax Cause Erectile Dysfunction?
Researchers haven’t determined exactly how Xanax causes ED. However, it’s probably linked to the fact that Xanax can lower your libido (sex drive).
The drug can reduce your libido by slowing down your central nervous system (CNS). Your CNS contains numerous neurotransmitters (chemical messengers) that influence how you feel, including your sexual desire. With decreased desire, you’re less likely to get or keep an erection.
Along with lower libido and ED, Xanax can cause other forms of sexual dysfunction, such as:
- decreased genital sensation
- delayed ejaculation
- milder orgasms
Treatment Options For Erectile Dysfunction
If you’re taking Xanax and experience ED, don’t stop taking the drug cold turkey. If you do, you may experience unpleasant withdrawal symptoms, as Xanax can cause physical dependence and addiction.
Instead, ask your health care provider how you can restore your sexual function. Depending on your situation, your provider might recommend:
- waiting to see if the side effect goes away
- lowering your Xanax dosage
- gradually tapering off Xanax to reduce withdrawal symptoms and switching to another medication that can treat anxiety
- using a medication to treat ED, such as sildenafil (more commonly known as Viagra)
In some cases, your doctor may determine that the Xanax isn’t what’s causing your ED. Other common causes of ED include:
- high blood pressure
- type 2 diabetes
- poor eating habits
- lack of exercise
- abusing alcohol or other drugs
Treating these conditions and adopting a healthy lifestyle can resolve ED and help you maintain your sexual health.
If you or someone you love misuses Xanax or another drug, please contact an Ark Behavioral Health specialist to learn about our substance abuse and addiction treatment programs.
Written by Ark Behavioral Health Editorial Team
©2023 Ark National Holdings, LLC. | All Rights Reserved.
This page does not provide medical advice.
AARP - Prescription Medications Can Cause Sexual Dysfunction
Cambridge University Press - Alprazolam-Induced Dose-Dependent Anorgasmia: Case Analysis
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases - Symptoms & Causes of Erectile Dysfunction
U.S. National Library of Medicine - Common Prescription Medication Use and Erectile Dysfunction: Results from the Boston Area Community Health (BACH) Survey
U.S. National Library of Medicine: MedlinePlus - Alprazolam
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