Metoprolol's Effect on Erections


Metoprolol is a beta blocker. These are medications used to treat heart attacks. They also are prescribed for angina and high blood pressure. Beta blockers are used to block the action of the sympathetic nervous system and slow down the heart rate. Like many medications, metoprolol is are beneficial and in some cases life-saving, it does have side effects.

Sexual Side Effects

  • When metoprolol (toprol) was being studied in clinical trials in order to obtain approval for public use, sexual side effects were not found to be a problem. However, after approval, there have been reports of sexual side effects. These primarily are in the form of impotence or decreased sex drive.


  • Impotence is the inability to obtain or sustain an erection. Erectile dysfunction (ED) is another term for this condition. ED is not a common result of taking metoprolol. The Mayo Clinic reported that for intravenous metoprolol, this side effect is rare. For oral Toprol, this side effect is listed as being less common.


  • Although sexual side effects are not common with metoprolol use, there is an increase in the chance of this occurring if an individual is prone to anxiety and becomes aware of the possibility of this problem. It is possible that the ED is related more to anticipatory anxiety than to actual physical issues in this case.

Medications and ED

  • If you are struggling with ED while on Toprol, it may be the cause. However, there are other medications that may be the culprit. Heart and blood pressure medications like propranolol and clonidine may contribute to impotence. Other classes of medications that have this possible side effect include antidepressants, antihistamines and NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs).


  • Toprol is a strong medication and has side effects. Some of the more common ones are dizziness, sweating, blurred vision, confusion or slow heartbeat. If you have any changes, such as ED or these other effects, consult your physician.

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  • Photo Credit "A Bucketful of Sugar" is Copyrighted by Flickr user: Lee Nachtigal under the Creative Commons Attribution license.
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