Q. My husband has suffered from high blood pressure and high cholesterol for years. HCTZ and Monopril control his hypertension and Vytorin has lowered his cholesterol.
Since starting the drugs, he’s had trouble with impotence. He refuses to see a urologist but takes an herb called Horny Goat Weed instead.
I don’t trust this herb, but he thinks it will help. What effect would this herb have on his other medication?
A. Horny Goat Weed (Epimedium) may have a suggestive name, but clinical data to support its effectiveness for erectile dysfunction or low libido are limited. What’s more, products being sold as Horny Goat Weed vary tremendously. They don’t all contain the same ingredients.
This herb might interact with blood pressure medicines. Side effects could include dizziness from low blood pressure, nausea, dry mouth or respiratory difficulties.
Some of your husband’s medications could be contributing to his sexual issues. We would like to send you two Guides to solving sexual problems along with a CD of an hour-long interview with a leading expert on sexual dysfunction. Others who want this information should send $18 in check or money order: Graedons’ The People’s Pharmacy®, No. YP-561, P. O. Box 52027, Durham, NC 27717-2027.
We urge your husband to discuss this issue with his doctor, who might prescribe medication that does not interfere with your love life.

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