Prescription painkillers linked to erectile dysfunction
Painkillers can seem a blessing for men with chronic pain, particularly back pain, but research is showing that they can bring notable side effects. Now, a study by the Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research has found that regularly taking prescription painkillers on a regular basis can raise their risk of suffering erectile dysfunction (ED). In fact, the research showed that men with high-dose and long-term opioid use had a 50 percent increased likelihood of receiving prescriptions for erectile dysfunction medications than those who did not take opioids.
More than 11,000 men who suffered from back pain were observed for this study. The researchers found that 19 percent of men who took high-dose opioids for a period of four months or more also were prescribed ED medication, and that 12 percent of men who took low-dose opioids for four months also received ED prescriptions. These figures are significantly higher than the seven percent of men who are prescribed ED medications who did not take opioids for back pain.
The study found that age was a significant factor linking back pain to ED, as men in the study who were older than 60 were much more likely to receive ED prescriptions. In fact, study participants in their 60s were 14 times more likely to receive ED medication than men in their 20s.
The most commonly used opioids are oxycodone, morphine and hydrocodone. In addition to concerns about erectile dysfunction, these drugs also carry significant risk of addiction, fatal overdose, sleep apnea and hormone productions