Using Cozaar (Losartan) to Treat Hypertension and Erectile Dysfunction

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Cozaar (losartan), a medication drug that has proven successful in treating hypertension (commonly referred to as high blood pressure), may also help improve another condition that plagues older men. Cozaar belongs to a class of anti-hypertensive drugs known as angiotensin II receptor blockers, or ARBs.

For adults with high blood pressure, many blood pressure medications can decrease sexual appetite and function, and it is for this reason that many adults choose to forego taking such drugs. Understanding how Cozaar may be able to help erectile dysfunction may also help adults in the management of their blood pressure.

How Cozaar May Help Erectile Dysfunction

In a study published in the May 2001 issue of the American Journal of Medicine and Science, researchers found that men being treated for hypertension with the drug Cozaar, who also suffer from sexual dysfunction, reported improvement in at least one area of sexuality.

Study About the Effect of Cozaar on ED

The 12-week study of 164 men, all with hypertension, was divided into 2 groups of 82, one group with sexual dysfunction, the other group reported normal sexual functioning. Both groups took losartan in dosages of 50 to 100 milligrams daily for the 12 weeks of the study. In the group of men with sexual dysfunction, 88 percent reported improvement in at least one area of sexual function and 73.7% reported an improved quality of life.

The number of men reporting improvement was at 88% during the study. The number of men involved in the study who reported impotence dropped from 75.3 % to 11.8%. The results of this study raise hope for men who have quit taking other blood pressure medications because they interfered with sexual function. Sexual dysfunction was defined for the study as decreased libido, impotence and poor sexual satisfaction.

The study group of men without sexual dysfunction, the drug did not produce changes in sexual function or satisfaction.

What That Means for Your Blood Pressure Treatment

Erectile dysfunction is common among older men, and is especially so among older men with hypertension. 

Most cases of sexual dysfunction are related to a physical cause. The most common causes are diabetes, heart disease, neurological trauma or disease, and side effects of medications. Stress and anxiety can also contribute to impotence. While most of the focus has been on men with erectile dysfunction, a number of women also suffer from this disorder.

Many drugs used to treat hypertension can make erectile dysfunction worse, especially beta blockers, and to a lesser extent, diuretics. ACE inhibitors, calcium channel blockers, and ARBs are much less likely to worsen erectile dysfunction.

But the possibility that Cozaar, and possibly other ARBs, may actually improve sexual function is something you should keep in mind and discuss with your doctor if you are being treated for hypertension and are experiencing erectile dysfunction.

Bottom Line

Keeping diseases such as diabetes and hypertension under control will go far in preventing sexual dysfunction, but communication with your physician if it occurs, can help all seniors, male or female, enjoy a healthy and fulfilling sex life.

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  • Caro, José Luis Llisterri, et al. "Sexual Dysfunction in Hypertensive Patients Treated With losartan." The American Journal of the Medical Sciences 321.5 (2001): 336-341.