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What Does the Research Say About Beta Blockers and Impotence?

Erectile dysfunction is usually defined as a total inability to achieve an erection, an inconsistent ability to do so, or a tendency to sustain only brief erections. Ultimately, erectile dysfunction is the repeated inability to get or keep an erection that is firm enough for sexual intercourse. The condition is also known as ED or impotence.
An interesting study was conducted on whether being aware that impotence was a possible side effect would actually cause the sexual problem. Researchers found that people who knew that impotence was a side effect of beta blockers were more likely to develop the problem. Their conclusion was that "the knowledge and prejudice about side effects of beta blockers can produce anxiety that may cause erectile dysfunction." Interestingly, this study also found that a placebo (a "sugar pill" with no active ingredients) was just as effective as sildenafil (Viagra®) for reversing impotence in these men.

Dealing With Possible Toprol-XL Sexual Side Effects

It is impossible for your healthcare provider to know beforehand whether you will develop any sexual side effects while taking Toprol-XL. Also, if a person does develop sexual side effects, such as erectile dysfunction or a decrease in libido, it is difficult to know whether these problems are the result of Toprol-XL, other factors, or both.
If you develop what seem to be sexual side effects while taking Toprol-XL, discuss them with your healthcare provider. He or she may be able to recommend treatment options, such as an erectile dysfunction medication. Depending on how severe your sexual side effects are, your healthcare provider may also recommend that you adjust your Toprol-XL dosage or try another medicine.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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