Can Erection Pills Be Bad for Your Health?

Erection Pills Bad for Health
Can we not see the forest through the trees? (Courtesy

In life, there are opportunities taken and opportunities missed. The same is true in men’s health. The way men are built, they typically don’t come face to face with medical care unless their lives are threatened, or they’re in pain. The latest Cleveland Clinic survey pretty much sums this up: Over 60% of men neglect seeing a physician even when they know they need to go. And over half of men prefer to keep their health concerns to themselves. As a result, their care is defensive and reactive medicine which is no way to keep a population healthy.

Plugged In

The introduction of Viagra twenty years ago created an unprecedented opportunity to lure men into the doctor’s office for care, and that’s exactly what happened. They came in hoards. And then we learned that erectile dysfunction is a biomarker of heart health. Now, men with erectile dysfunction are routinely checked (and treated!) for metabolic health risks like high cholesterol, diabetes, obesity and smoking. Major life-shortening illnesses are now handled before they become critical. All because of a simple erection pill. What a great, proactive leap forward in men’s health.


But are erection pills bad for your health? The good news is, consuming them does not cause physical harm. In fact, they are incredibly safe when taken according to FDA indications; think of them as coffee for the penis. However, because erection pills can now be easily and legally obtained online through internet startups, men are still avoiding the doctor’s office. It’s good that men that otherwise would have avoided treatment are getting treatment for ED, but buying ED pills online is not the same as getting “care.” And that, my friends, has the potential to set us back a few decades in men’s health.

You could consider the online prescription marketplace as the perpetuation of an outdated model of medical care in which pills exist for all ills. Similarly, it can also be viewed as a missed opportunity to actually prevent disease and keep men living healthier and longer. Let’s use diabetes as an example, since we now know that much of acquired diabetes is not just treatable but cured with weight loss. Suppose pills to treat diabetes were available online like ED medications. Sure, you’d take the pills and things might improve. But with proper medical care and weight loss, there’s the chance to cure the damn disease for good. As pills typically don’t cure things, they generate a missed opportunity.

Who Shouldn’t Pop the Little Blue Pill

Some men need to think twice about taking erectile dysfunction drugs. The pills can have serious side effects, including dangerously low blood pressure or vision/hearing changes, for men who:

  • Have underlying medical conditions like kidney disease, uncontrolled blood pressure problems or a history of congestive heart failure
  • Are at increased risk for heart attack or stroke
  • Take certain medications – particularly, nitrate-based drugs for chest pain or an enlarged prostate. Erection pills should also not be taken with alpha-blockers.

Men who want the drug without a doctor’s visit may be putting their health in jeopardy.

Before prescribing any of my patients erection pills, I always review medical history, current medications and vitals, so I am aware of any concerning health conditions and potential drug interactions.

I have mixed feelings about the widespread availability of ED drugs online. Great for short-term improvements in the quality of men’s sex lives, but for some, this comes at a high price in terms of health and longevity.