Can Gabapentin Cause Erectile Dysfunction?

Erectile dysfunction is a condition that causes problems with sexual performance by being unable to cause an erection.

A medication called gabapentin is used to treat neuropathic pain and control seizures. However, it has a connection to the potential onset of erectile dysfunction. 

It is crucial to understand how gabapentin may impact your sexual performance if you’ve been prescribed gabapentin. We will go through the facts about gabapentin and how it may affect you in this article. 

What is Gabapentin?

Gabapentin is a member of the anticonvulsant or antiepileptic medication class. The main two conditions that gabapentin is used to treat are seizures and nerve pain. The action of several neurotransmitters in the brain and nervous system is changed by gabapentin.

Gabapentin works by binding to a specific type of calcium channel in the brain and nervous system, known as the alpha-2-delta subunit. The release of several neurotransmitters, such as glutamate, norepinephrine, and substance P, which are implicated in pain perception and seizures, is decreased by gabapentin via binding to these channels. As a result, some neurons become less excitable and the nervous system’s ability to transmit pain signals is lessened.

Additionally, GABA, an inhibitory neurotransmitter that helps control neuronal activity and lessen anxiety, is thought to be produced and released in greater quantities by gabapentin. Gabapentin may assist to quiet hyperactive neurons and lessen seizure activity by raising GABA levels.

Gabapentin may also be prescribed off-label for ailments like fibromyalgia, restless legs syndrome, sleeplessness, anxiety, and insomnia.

Gabapentin is typically consumed orally and is available as tablets, capsules, and oral solutions. Although it normally has a few side effects, they could include dry mouth, nausea, drowsiness, and dizziness. The adverse effects of gabapentin might also include allergic responses, suicidal thoughts or behavior, and mood swings.

What is Erectile Dysfunction?

Erectile dysfunction (ED), is a condition where a man has trouble getting or keeping an erection during sexual activity. It is also called impotence. It is a common condition that can affect anyone at any age, but older men are more likely to get it.

Several variables, including physical and psychological ones, might contribute to ED. Medical diseases like diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, or neurological illnesses are examples of physical causes. Additional lifestyle variables that might contribute to ED include smoking, binge drinking, and inactivity. Stress, anxiety, sadness, and relationship issues are psychological elements that can either cause or contribute to ED. Some medications have also been associated with causing ED. 

Can Gabapentin cause Erectile Dysfunction?

Sexual desire, good nerve function, and sufficient blood flow to the penis are just a few of the conditions necessary for strong, proper erections.

Blood flows to the penis while sexually stimulated, causing the erectile tissue to enlarge and harden up. When the neurological system isn’t working properly, it can lead to erectile dysfunction by impairing the flow of blood to the penis. 

It may also happen if the nerves, blood flow, degree of interest in sex, or overall sexual functioning are impacted by medical issues or drugs.

According to research, several epilepsy medications, including gabapentin, can impair male sexual performance [1]. 

Researchers found that gabapentin and related drugs may cause hyposexuality and hypersexuality, as well as erectile dysfunction, ejaculatory dysfunction, and changes in sexual desire. This study revealed that gabapentin-induced ED can happen in certain people even when they take only 300 milligrams of the medication daily. Contrary to earlier case studies that suggested a total daily dose of 900mg was necessary before any potential sexual dysfunction. 

A small-scale study, which was published in the American Journal of Geriatric Pharmacotherapy, and previous studies suggest that gabapentin may impair orgasms, particularly in older males [2].

Sometimes referred to as gabapentin-induced sexual dysfunction, these side effects include having trouble getting an erection, having trouble ejaculating, or having unexpected changes in sexual desire. 

Is the Effect ED Due to Gabapentin Permanent?

Any medication’s sexual side effects can be challenging to manage. It’s not uncommon for people who take gabapentin or a similar medicine and get ED to panic and believe the alteration in their sexual function is irreversible.

There is currently no scientific proof that gabapentin contributes to long-term sexual performance problems including erectile dysfunction. 

Research indicates that sexual dysfunction in people who are administered gabapentin typically disappears when treatment finishes.

For instance, a study on persons with gabapentin-induced anorgasmia or orgasmic dysfunction discovered that after the patients stopped using gabapentin, their capacity to orgasm recovered [3]. 

According to other research, gabapentin’s sexual adverse effects also disappear when the prescription is stopped [4]. The half-life of gabapentin is between five and seven hours. The body typically needs two days to completely get rid of gabapentin. 

This implies that if one uses gabapentin and experiences erectile dysfunction, discontinuing the medication, which should be done only under the advice of the healthcare professional, should end the problem right away. 

Other Side Effects of Gabapentin

Gabapentin, like most other drugs, may have side effects that could range from simple ones to potentially dangerous ones. These side effects are:

  • Allergic reaction
  • Blurred vision
  • Changes in mood or behaviour, such as depression or agitation
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhoea
  • Difficulty speaking
  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Dry mouth
  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Increased appetite
  • Loss of coordination
  • Nausea
  • Suicidal thoughts or behavior
  • Tremors
  • Vomiting
  • Weight gain

How to Treat Erectile Dysfunction Caused by Gabapentin

It’s critical to consult your doctor if you have erectile dysfunction following the commencement of your gabapentin medication.By changing the gabapentin dosage, moving to a different type of epilepsy medication, or using medicine to treat and control ED, gabapentin-induced erectile dysfunction may be treated.

Change to an Alternative Anticonvulsant

Sometimes, changing to a different anticonvulsant drug can stop or at least lessen the severity of sexual adverse effects like erectile dysfunction. Your physician may suggest that you switch from gabapentin to another epilepsy drug if it is safe for you to do so. 

Some antiepileptic medications do not lead to sexual dysfunction. According to certain studies, additional epilepsy medications like oxcarbazepine, lamotrigine, or levetiracetam do not cause ED and instead may enhance sexual function in those who have some difficulties with their sexual performance [5].

Be careful not to change your gabapentin dosage or stop taking the drug without first consulting your doctor. 

Consult Your Healthcare Professional About ED Drugs

Several drugs can be used to treat erectile dysfunction. These include sildenafil, tadalafil, vardenafil, and avanafil. These drugs, also known as PDE5 inhibitors, function by promoting blood flow to the penis. Because of this, getting and keeping an erection when sexually aroused and stimulated may be simpler. 

Before intercourse, PDE5 inhibitor drugs are simple to take and offer consistent effects that may last for several hours at a time. Although gabapentin and these drugs don’t directly interact, it’s still necessary to consult your doctor.

Improve Your General Health

You can take several steps to look after your physical well-being and possibly lessen or avoid erectile dysfunction (ED). Some pointers are:

Exercise frequently — Maintaining a healthy weight and improving blood flow are both factors that can help prevent ED.

 Maintain a healthy weight — ED risk increases with obesity or being overweight. This risk can be decreased by maintaining a healthy weight with a balanced diet and regular exercise.

 Eat a nutritious, balanced diet —  Eating a healthy diet that is rich in fresh produce, whole grains, lean meats, and healthy fats can help you stay healthy overall and lower your risk of developing ED.

 Take steps to control chronic conditions — Heart disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes all pose risks for ED. This risk can be decreased by treating these illnesses with medication, making lifestyle adjustments, and receiving routine medical care. 

Avoid smoking and drinking excessive amounts of alcohol — Both can raise your risk of developing ED. Limiting alcohol consumption and giving up smoking can help lower this risk.

Get adequate restful sleep — Sleeping sufficiently is essential for good health and can help lessen stress, which is a significant cause of ED.

Reduce stress — Long-term stress might cause ED. This risk can be decreased by learning appropriate stress management techniques, such as meditation, exercise, or counselling.


Scientific evidence demonstrates a direct correlation between gabapentin and erectile dysfunction, as well as similar connections between ED and other antiepileptic drugs. These drugs may also alter your level of sexual desire and make it difficult to ejaculate, among other problems with sexual performance.

It is important to consult your doctor if you experience ED after using gabapentin. By changing your medicine, your dosage, or your habits and daily routine, you may be able to enhance your sexual performance. 

To make achieving and maintaining an erection simpler, you might benefit from using ED medications like sildenafil. It is important to talk to your healthcare provider about the potential benefits and risks of using gabapentin and to work with them to find the best treatment option for your condition.


  1. Kaufman, K. R., & Struck, P. J. (2011). Gabapentin-induced sexual dysfunction. Epilepsy & Behavior, 21(3), 324-326. 
  2. Perloff, M. D., Thaler, D. E., & Otis, J. A. (2011). Anorgasmia with gabapentin may be common in older patients. The American Journal of geriatric pharmacotherapy, 9(3), 199-203. 
  3. Perloff, M. D., Thaler, D. E., & Otis, J. A. (2011). Anorgasmia with gabapentin may be common in older patients. The American Journal of geriatric pharmacotherapy, 9(3), 199-203. 
  4. Hamed, S. A. (2018). Sexual dysfunctions induced by pregabalin. Clinical Neuropharmacology, 41(4), 116-122. 
  5. Yang, Y., & Wang, X. (2016). Sexual dysfunction related to antiepileptic drugs in patients with epilepsy. Expert opinion on drug safety, 15(1), 31-42. 







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