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Urology. 2009 Jul;74(1):82-7. doi: 10.1016/j.urology.2008.12.080. Epub 2009 May 9.

Alpha-blocker use is associated with decreased risk of sexual dysfunction.

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Department of Urology, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India.



To examine the association between alpha-blocker use and sexual dysfunction among men participating in a population-based cohort of men residing in Olmsted County, MN. Lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS) in men have previously been associated with sexual dysfunction. The use of alpha-adrenergic receptor blocking agents results in an improvement in LUTS for many men. If sexual dysfunction and LUTS share a common etiology, alpha-blocker use might also be associated with a decreased risk of sexual dysfunction.


White men, aged 40-79 years, were randomly selected in 1990 and assessed for alpha-blocker use and LUTS severity. Sexual function was assessed using the Brief Male Sexual Function Inventory. Men who used alpha-blockers before any sexual dysfunction were considered "exposed." Hazard ratios and 95% confidence intervals were estimated separately for each sexual function domain using Cox proportional hazard models.


Of the 1724 men with a regular sexual partner included in the present study (mean age 57.74 years), 263 (15.3%) reported alpha-blocker use. alpha-Blocker use was associated with a decreased risk of sexual dysfunction across all domains for men > or =50 years old (age-adjusted hazard ratio 0.53-0.69). A decreased risk of erectile dysfunction and low libido remained significant only among those using alpha-blockers who also experienced an improvement in LUTS (P = .01).


The use of alpha-blockers for LUTS was associated with a decreased risk of sexual dysfunction. Improvement in sexual function correlated with the improvement in LUTS more strongly among those using alpha-blockers.

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