Regular Use of Painkillers Linked to ED
Studies have shown that men who regularly rely on painkillers have a higher risk of suffering from erectile dysfunction (ED) than their peers who don’t take painkillers regularly. Erectile dysfunction is a medical condition whereby the system that allows a man to maintain an erection is disrupted by one or several causes.
The hormones, the brain, and the nerves are all linked to helping send signals that the body should prepare itself for intercourse. Drugs entering the body can alter and disturb this delicate system.
Which age group is most commonly affected?
According to a study in The Journal of Urology, the majority of men who usually find themselves faced with such a dilemma are middle-aged men. Why is this? The general wear and tear of the body can lead to pain in different parts of the body. As one grows older, the body tends to develop aches and pains as well. Without a second thought, most men reach for the closest bathroom shelf for pain medication. Medication that is readily available from places like My Canadian Pharmacy.
The Culprit Medication
The medication that was being taken by the men in the study was nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs which are also known more simply as NSAIDs. The men who took these drugs on a regular basis of doses of more than three pills per day consecutively or collectively for five days or more during the week were the ones who were most at risk of becoming impotent.
The drugs which many of the men took included a wide range of NSAIDs such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), aspirin, and naproxen (Aleve, Anaprox, Naprosyn). All of these can be bought online.
Could there be other factors that could have led to ED apart from the painkillers?
The long and short of the answer is yes, there are. There are several factors that could indeed have played a part and contributed significantly to the men developing erectile dysfunction in these case studies. Factors such as age (how old they were), smoking (whether or not the men smoked, and how often), and their stress level affected the study to some degree. All these factors were weighed in against the factor being studied that of painkillers.
The conclusion that was drawn even after all other potential factors had been considered was that the men who used painkillers and took them on a regular basis were 38% times more likely to express difficulty in having and maintaining an erection during sexual intercourse.
This study was carried out under the Kaiser Permanente Group of Southern California by Dr. Steven J. Jacobsen. Dr. Jacobsen explained that though the study did pinpoint a link between men who took painkillers on a regular basis and erectile dysfunction, he said the clinical evidence available did not prove specifically that ultimately painkillers directly caused erectile dysfunction.
The results of the study showed that more than 30% of men in any group of men above the age of 40 relied on painkillers on a regular basis. Of these 30%, more than 13% said that they suffered from erection difficulties. Then again, this is just one study.
This study also brought to the surface the challenges faced by those men who need to take medication such as aspirin to manage their age-related pains and aches. Most men who take this aspirin on a daily basis do it to help reduce their risk of cardiac arrest and stroke. Faced with these two tough decisions, what are people expected to do? Take the pain medication and risk experiencing erectile dysfunction or avoid the painkillers and increase your risk of heart attack and stroke? It’s not an easy choice for any middle-aged man or elderly man to make.
There is still tons more research that needs to be done, clinical trials to be carried out before anything definitive can be concluded. Even Dr. Jacobsen himself warned patients from heeding the results of this study and stopping their medications. This is only one study and not enough to give an authoritative voice over the entire issue.
Dr. Jacobsen rightly pointed out that NSAIDs are used to treat and address the needs of scores of conditions that simply cutting them out and making people stop taking their meds based on a single study was foolhardy. Until the exact link between the painkillers and how they affect erectile dysfunction can be established he advised people to continue listening to their personal doctors until more research has been done.