Hypertension Home > Spironolactone and Impotence

Impotence appears to be a common side effect of many blood pressure medications, including spironolactone. Impotence that is caused by spironolactone is most likely due to the drug's effects on male hormones (the diuretic may decrease male hormone levels or block androgen receptors). If you are taking spironolactone and impotence becomes a problem, talk to your healthcare provider so he or she can recommend treatment.

Does Spironolactone Cause Impotence?

Spironolactone (Aldactone®) may cause impotence, as is common with many blood pressure medications. In clinical studies, impotence is one of the reported side effects of spironolactone, although the exact percentage was not reported.

What Is Impotence?

Impotence is usually defined as a total inability to achieve erection, an inconsistent ability to do so, or a tendency to sustain only brief erections. Ultimately, impotence is the repeated inability to get or keep an erection firm enough for sexual intercourse. Impotence is also known as erectile dysfunction (or ED for short).
Spironolactone works as an aldosterone antagonist, which means that it blocks aldosterone receptors. Aldosterone is a hormone that causes fluid retention. Spironolactone also has some effect on testosterone and other androgen hormones. It may decrease the level of androgens (male hormones) or block androgen receptors. It is likely that impotence caused by spironolactone is due to the effects on male hormones.

Spironolactone and Impotence: A Summary

It is impossible for your healthcare provider to know whether you will develop impotence while taking spironolactone. It may also be difficult to determine whether impotence is actually caused by the medication itself or other problems.
If you are taking spironolactone and impotence becomes a problem, make sure to talk with your healthcare provider. There is treatment that he or she may be able to recommend. Depending on how severe your symptoms are, he or she may also recommend that you take an erectile dysfunction medicine, adjust your spironolactone dosage, or try another diuretic or blood pressure medication.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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