Sexual Dysfunction in Patients with Hypertension: Implications for Therapy

Carlos M. Ferrario, MD, Pavel Levy, MD

In This Article


Occurrence of sexual dysfunction in patients with hypertension may not only negatively impact the ability of patients to stay on antihypertensive therapy, but can also lead to deterioration in quality of life. Therefore, it is important for practitioners to be aware of the wide variation in sexual side effects produced by antihypertensive agents and to be willing to discuss potential occurrence of these problems with patients.

Practitioners should consider choosing an antihypertensive therapy with the lowest possible potential for sexual side effects in order to attain an optimum balance between antihypertensive efficacy and quality of life. Recent studies indicate that AIIAs may offer a therapeutic option to prevent or correct erectile dysfunction in patients with hypertension. AIIAs have been shown to positively impact several indices of sexual function and perceived quality of life, effects possibly attributable to blockade of the effects of ANG II in mediating penile detumescence.