Can oral diabetes medications cause impotence?

  • Medical Editor: William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Ask the experts

Can glyburide contribute to impotence?

Doctor's response

Glyburide is a sulfonylurea oral medication used in lowering blood glucose in patients with type II diabetes mellitus. It does not usually cause impotence. However, nerve damage and blood vessel disease related to diabetes can cause impotence. Therefore, it is important to work with a doctor (preferably a urologist) to identify the cause.

In patients with persistent erectile dysfunction despite a normal testosterone level, medications such as MUSE can be helpful. MUSE is a single-use, medication system for the delivery of alprostadil to the male penis in treating patients who have difficulty maintaining adequate erection for sexual intercourse. The active ingredient in MUSE is alprostadil, a naturally occurring chemical called prostaglandin E1 (PGE1), found in abundance in human seminal fluid. In MUSE, alprostadil (in the form of a small medicated pellet) is stored in the tip of a hollow applicator shaped like a long toothpick. After urination, the medication is administered by inserting the applicator stem into the penile opening (urethra). By pressing the applicator button on the other end, the medicated pellet is deposited in the penis. The onset of erection effect is within 5-10 minutes and duration of effect is approximately 30-60 minutes. Not everyone responds to MUSE treatment all the time. Estimated reported successful intercourse is around 70% of the time. Viewers should discuss the side effects with the doctor prior to using MUSE.

Health Solutions From Our Sponsors

Reviewed on 1/11/2018
CONTINUE SCROLLING OR CLICK HERE FOR RELATED SLIDESHOW