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Erectile Dysfunction Medications and Alcohol Interactions

Medically reviewed by Leigh Ann Anderson, PharmD. Last updated on Nov 23, 2019.

Low blood pressure may be a concern when alcohol is mixed with erectile dysfunction (ED) drugs. These agents, in the class known as phosphodiesterase-5 (PDE5) inhibitors, cause vasodilatation and increase blood flow to the penis to help with an erection. Alcohol can also cause vasodilation and lower blood pressure. Erectile dysfunction drugs include:

Cialis is also used to treat enlargement of the prostate gland (benign prostatic hypertrophy). Some PDE5 inhibitors (Adcirca, Alyq, Revatio) are also approved to treat high blood pressure in the arteries of the lungs (pulmonary hypertension).

Learn more: The Drugs.com Drug Interaction Checker

Patients taking PDE5 inhibitors should avoid consuming large amounts of alcohol, which may cause a sudden decrease in blood pressure when getting up from a standing or reclining position. Although effects can be variable, symptoms may include a faster heart rate, dizziness, headache and fainting. Injury from a fall such as a bone fracture could occur. Studies with some PDE5 inhibitors have shown a decrease in blood pressure and symptomatic effects when combined with alcohol

  • In general, either avoid or limit the use of alcohol while being treated with PDE5 inhibitors.
  • Use caution when getting up from a sitting or lying position.
  • The manufacturer of Cialis recommends no more than five (5) alcoholic drinks (for example, 5 glasses of wine or 5 shots of whiskey), while the manufacturer of Stendra suggests no more than three (3) drinks.
  • Other manufacturers do not make specific patient recommendations; however, since this is most likely a class effect, use caution when combining any PDE5 inhibitor with alcohol.
  • Always check with your pharmacist or doctor for possible drug-alcohol interactions or other interactions. Tell your healthcare providers about all the other medications you use, including prescription, over-the-counter (OTC) drugs, vitamins, dietary supplements and herbal products.

Types of Drug Interactions With Alcohol

Sources

  1. Product Information. Cialis (tadalafil). Lilly, Eli and Company, Indianapolis, IN. Accessed Nov. 23, 2019 at https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/drugsatfda_docs/label/2018/021368s030lbl.pdf
  2. Product Information. Viagra (sildenafil)." Pfizer US Pharmaceuticals, New York, NY. Accessed Nov. 23, 2019 at accessdata.fda.gov/drugsatfda_docs/label/1998/viagralabel2.pdf
  3. Product Information. Stendra (avanafil)." Vivus Inc, Mountain View, CA. Accessed Nov. 23, 2019 at https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/drugsatfda_docs/label/2018/202276s018lbl.pdf
  4. Product Information. Levitra (vardenafil)." Bayer, West Haven, CT.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.