It is estimated that 13 million Americans now take a statin-type cholestesrol-lowering medicine like Lipitor, Crestor or Zocor. Such drugs are very good at lowering bad LDL cholesterol and lower the chances of a heart attack or stroke in high-risk patients. But there is a growing recognition that such medications have side effects. Muscle pain and weakness may occur in as many as 10 percent of the patients who use statins, according to a review in the Annals of Internal Medicine. Now another unexpected side effect is getting attention from researchers. Researchers examining the French Pharmacovigillance System Database report that erectile dysfunction is associated with statin medications. Spontaneous complaints of ED were 10 times more common among men taking statins than among those taking other drugs. When the statins were discontinued, over 50 percent reported recovery. 

[Drug Safety, July 1, 2009]

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  1. Joe 54
    Reply

    Nearly a month off simvustatin 20. I will NEVER take that poison again. I feel better than I have in 5 years of taking statins. Body aches have been reduced, dizziness reduced, overall sense of well-being returned. Manhood returned. I thought my Doctor knew what was best, i just blindly followed. I’d rather be DEAD than take that poison.

  2. Joe 54
    Reply

    12 days off Simvustatin 20. Chronic musculo-skeletal pain (for more than 5 years) is significantly reduced. Below the waist function, although cannot yet be defined as ‘wood’ like when I was 25, is noticably improved already. Overall energy supply is better. Overall feeling of well-being is better. So many thanks to all those who posted here before me. Agree with previous poster…. I’ll take my chances with high cholesterol vs taking this. If I cant feel like a man – just go ahead and shoot me now. Ha! Played my best round of golf Saturday in the last 30 years.

  3. Joe 54
    Reply

    I was on Crestor for 4 years without problems. Suddenly while on vacation, my legs got so weak it was like I was seeing them wither day by day and the pain was excruciating. Called the Doctor who said stop the Crestor now. And he put me on Simvustatin. Leg pain stopped, but slowly and surely the quality of erections declined. I’m stoppin the Simvustation for a few weeks to see if (hopefully) this condition returns to normal.

  4. dan k
    Reply

    I am taking a low dosage of simvastatin 20mg. Can you tell me more about your diet etc.? I noticed ED even with viagra.

  5. JW
    Reply

    To be brief, I am 47 yo and had been on Lipitor for 66 days when I found this forum. In that time I acquired extreme muscle pain and an absolute loss of being able to perform sexually.
    I am so thankful to have found this site since none of these side effects were warned of by my dr. I have been off of Lipitor for 5 days and for the first time in nearly 4 weeks I achieved an erection.
    Nothing amazing but it nearly made me tear up. Lipitor took away even the desire to try. I wish the dr would have at least warned me of these two terrible side effects. I’m now hoping it will completely reverse itself and get back to how it was.

  6. HU
    Reply

    The pain and trauma of ED in a loving relationship cannot be underestimated.
    I am a mature woman in a relationship with a man I adore, who has ED. Firstly, a blood pressure medication literally chemically castrated him – nothing! When he stopped taking it, he was finally able to get intermittent erections, but the ED was still there, just not quite so bad.
    Thanks to sites like this I found out about Simvastatin, and he was on a massive 40mg a day. He’s just stopped taking it after I found out about it’s devastating effects on men and showed him. He’s been off it for 4 days now and last night we both noticed a real difference – fantastic!
    All I can say as a woman is to try to keep the love and the sexiness in your life alive, no matter what, and you may need to spend much more time than previously turning your man on.
    Another hint for older couples is to make sure there is no anxiety or stress over sex and performance, and be aware that there are oral sexual alternatives which can work well for both of you in this situation. The main thing is to keep the love and affection alive.

  7. Eric W
    Reply

    I have only just found this web site, after trying to find out something about ED. I am a 79 year old have been on Simvastatin for about three years started on 20 mg then increased to 40 mg, also some blood pressure tablets. Used to be able to get an erection on demand now cannot get a proper erection.
    After much work I can only get a very soft erection, if you could call it an erection. From what I have been reading here I think I will try a period off cholesterol medication at least. The numbers at my last check three months ago were quite low. As far as I am aware I do not have any other side effects that have been mentioned.

  8. NE
    Reply

    I’m 31, been battling with cholesterol forever – finally caved to my physician and started taking pravastatin. I’m very active – do Crossfit, muscular, very little body fat – still had high lipids so I started on the low dose. During this same time, I was going through a divorce, so I never got to test erectile issues.
    Few months later have my first girlfriend post divorce. Go to her bedroom – holy crap that was embarrassing. Reving sex drive but mediocre erection – soft rubber. I chalked it up to nervousness and the like, but then I found this and OMG I can’t believe this was never discussed with me!
    I talked with my physician about it, and he said that cholesterol can cause ED issues, not the drug. Sorry, but based on what I’m reading online I have to disagree. I’m only on 10mg dose, but I’ve decided to stop. I think it takes 2 weeks for the drug to clear out of your system – here’s hoping that things return to normal.

  9. GANESH
    Reply

    I have been using statins for the past 7 years; also detected for diabetes 5 years back, I am now on OBIMET SR 500 and ATORIN/LIPOFIX. For the past 4 years I have experienced a gradual loss of libido and ED. Though none of the various statins warn ED/Libido Loss as a side effect (My doctor also disagrees with this ED side-effect), it is very much TRUE that statins have CERTAINLY caused loss of libido and ED problem.
    I have tried stopping statins for a month and I find the problem waning slowly and normalcy returning slowly with regard to libido or erections. In conclusion, statins DO CAUSE sexual problems, but how to replace statins for cholesterol lowering? CAN ANY EXPERT ADVISE PLEASE?

  10. PA
    Reply

    I’m 48 and have had a history of high cholesterol (239 now) over the years. Recently my doc prescribed Lipitor 10mg. After 3 days I noticed for the first time ever that I couldn’t maintain an erection.
    Thank goodness I found this site. I can’t believe that ED is not disclosed as a side effect by doctors and the drug companies. Really makes you wonder. Either way, I stopped and things have resumed as normal.
    Will now have to find natural alternatives… any suggestions?

  11. pmb
    Reply

    Wow, I was just surfing around the web, looking for info on statins and sex drive, and couldn’t believe everything I read here. I am 66, diabetic but otherwise in reasonably good health. I was sexually inactive for quite a few years due to marital issues (but that is another story). I have been on simvastatin for about 2 yrs, I believe. About a year ago I developed a new relationship which has been great, but I also find that I frequently can’t quite turn the corner at the end. And, once I have a sexual experience, I am finished for at least 3-4 days. It is really frustrating. My girlfriend says it is okay with her, but it isn’t with me. Thanks to TG for his comments. I am considering stopping my statin dose for a couple weeks and see what happens.
    People’s Pharmacy response: Be sure to check in with your doctor about stopping the statin.

  12. TG
    Reply

    I am writing to share my experience in the hopes that it will help some of us, and that you might share any of your similar experience. My primary issue is NOT an erectile dysfunction, but rather a failure to reach orgasm with any regularity. A somewhat different/related problem than what I’ve read above, yet equally frustrating
    I am a healthy 53 yr. old man, also with family history of high cholesterol. Have been using statins for about 10 years, most recently Lipitor 40 mg daily. Yes, it’s been keeping my cholesterol levels at the high end of normal range, and my doctor recently discussed going to 80 mg to get it under “better control”, under the assumption the lower the better.
    Until recently I had been sexually INACTIVE for a very, very long time so I was not aware of any sexual dysfunction, and had not observed any problems getting erections, though sadly I didn’t do much with them. Soon after switching to Lipitor I did notice that erections were much softer and, anticipating a future relationship on the horizon, got prescribed Cialis which solved that problem immediately.
    When I did resume having sex, about one year ago, I quickly learned that I was having no problem with arousal or libido or longevity, but that I was having a problem reaching orgasm regularly. Whereas most men might say they have a problem coming too quickly, I would spend easily an hour per session, sometimes 2-3 times per day, having great sex with a VERY HAPPY girlfriend, but achieving orgasm for me only about 1 in 8 attempts.
    I did some research and saw a urology specialist to rule out Low Testosterone. The result of my consult with him was that I had a form of ANORGASMIA, for which the causes are believed to be most often psychological. He went on to say that this condition is not well understood in the medical community and there wasn’t anything he could do to help. Specifically, I often get right to the edge of orgasm, but then don’t “turn the corner”.
    I’ve studied literature on the male sexual response trying to learn more about this, but again there is a gap in our understanding of exactly HOW certain things work. Fortunately my girlfriend is understanding and supportive, and in fact enjoys an ironic benefit to her sex life. But I continue to seek understanding and solution to my problem.
    Two things I’m looking into that appear promising, though I cannot yet offer definitive conslusions. First, I came across a research study from Harvard Health Newsletter (http://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/a-new-option-for-orgasm-problems-in-men-201205294804#) in which the drug Cabergoline was successfully used to treat Anorgasmia in men. This is an off-label use for the drug, so it is not yet able to be generally prescribed for my condition. However, I did obtain a 3-month supply of the drug, and by the end of the time period I noticed an improvement. When I stopped taking the .5 mg twice weekly, I went back to the previous state. I’ve been unable to obtain more of this prescription drug, and have become frustrated knowing that relief may be available but out of my reach through the established medical community. (Side note: it’s possible to obtain this drug through off-shore pharmacies, but it raises another whole set of issues, in addition to the dangers of self-prescribing…)
    Most recently, I decided to go off my Lipitor to make sure, as a baseline, that this was not a source of the problem. It has been about a month now, and whereas I never did have any problem with getting and maintaing erections (I do use a low dose of Cialis) I seem to be reaching orgasm more frequently. Not enough time has gone by for me to be sure, but things definitely seem better! I’ll be having more discussions with my doctor about this and, apparently, need to look at other ways to address my cholesterol or perhaps, as some say, “… don’t worry about it…”.
    I am wondering if there are others of you who have similar problems with orgasm and what solutions you have found.

  13. RI
    Reply

    I took simvastatin for 23 days in 2004 since my sex drive is non-existent, previously I was highly active sexually. I stopped after 23 days as I felt I was dying lack of energy, pains, heavy legs, absolutely incredible and the Doctor suggested changing to another form, I cannot repeat my answer.

  14. GH
    Reply

    Have been on simvastatin for nearly two months due to stent and am now completely unable to achieve an erection. I am forty and just lost nearly thirty pounds with a former raging sex drive what gives?
    My cholesterol was not noteworthy on my last physical. They should prescribe this stuff to sex offenders as a condition of release!

  15. Arun
    Reply

    I was taking atorvastatin tablet 10 mg for last 7 days. After three days I have noticed loss of sex drive and no erections. I was afraid and from this website came to know about statins side effect. From yesterday onwards I stopped taking tablet and today I had somewhat good erection but not great. I hope I can recover with in a week. Thank God

  16. MC Hammer
    Reply

    I want to thank everyone for taking the time to post their comments on this subject. I went from 10 mg of Crestor to 20 mg and I immediately noticed a softening of erections. I’m 46 and my drive is still high, play hockey at least once per week, feel young in most ways but after reading the posts here, I think it’s time to take a break from the Crestor. I’ll repost if I see any difference in maintaining an erection. Thanks again for posting.

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