Statins are used for the reduction of bad cholesterol (low-density lipoproteins – LDL) in your blood; these drugs can also help increase good cholesterol (also known as high-density lipoproteins – HDL). The chief function of such drugs is to inhibit your body (especially, the liver) from making more lipids or fats. Statins play a role in minimizing the risks of cardiac problems such as heart attacks or myocardial infarction. These meds are also used to reduce risks associated with strokes. Atorvastatin is one such statin that is administered for the better management of cholesterol. But, can this drug help reduce sexual conditions such as erectile dysfunction? It is a wise thing to know more about this.
Reduction of bad cholesterol (LDL), as well as triglycerides/fats and an increased level of good cholesterol (HDL), are proven ways to minimize the risks of cardiac dysfunction. Statins such as atorvastatin are used for enabling the aforesaid results. It is commonly available in the form of a med sold under the brand name “Lipitor”. This statin is often prescribed as part of a comprehensive treatment plan; the plan includes intake of foods with a lesser amount of fats in them, following a strict exercise plan/workout regimen, quitting smoking as well as shedding extra kilos/flab.
Safer intake of atorvastatin
This drug is taken orally. It can be taken either before or after a meal. Its typical dose is once within a 24-hour timeline. Two persons with high LDL levels (or low HDL) are seldom prescribed the same dosage strength of this statin. Your dosage strength varies based on your age, body weight, the severity of your medical condition as well as the presence of prior ailments, if any. It is very important to tell your treating physician/pharmacist about the drugs you are already taking and/or treatment plans you are presently pursuing. Make a list of meds you take; include all possible forms of meds – such as OTC drugs, prescription meds as well as dietary aids in it.
Intake of grapefruit juice or eating the fruit may enhance the traces of the medication in your bloodstream. Hence, you may be advised not to take grapefruit (or its juice) while taking this statin. Also, if you are taking other cholesterol drugs such as bile acid-binding drugs like cholestyramine or colestipol, you are advised to provide ample time intervals in between doses. In general, atorvastatin is consumed at least 2 hours before taking these drugs; alternately, you can also take this drug some 4 to 5 hours after consuming other drugs.
Can Atorvastatin Help With Erectile Dysfunction?
When you have problems in getting and maintaining an erection, it may be due to a condition known as erectile dysfunction. This is also referred to as male impotence. This medical condition is more common among aged men; especially those who have crossed 55 years of age. However, this condition may get triggered among men of any age. There are many risk factors that can lead to this sexual disorder; key among them are living with high blood pressure (hypertension), high level of blood sugar (or, being diabetic), excessive use of tobacco products/alcohol, stiffening or hardened arteries (a condition labeled as atherosclerosis), etc. Mental conditions such as feeling stressed out, anxious, and/or overexcited may also cause erectile dysfunction.
Intake of atorvastatin – Does it work for this sexual condition?
A few cardiology-based studies have inferred that statins – especially, drugs such as atorvastatin, can improve your sex life. The studies done thus far are only on smaller groups of respondents (men). However, there are also studies that indicate statins’ ability to reduce testosterone and hence minimize libido in men. But, many done on research closed user-group prove the opposite – i.e., statins’ ability to boost your love life.
You need to know that erectile dysfunction is often attributed to stressful living conditions, drinking too much alcohol – on a daily basis, or excessive smoking. Atorvastatin (or, for that matter – any statin) does not go near any of these risk factors. The results are largely not clear and may require more studies and clinical research to prove a stronger link. Dietitians often suggest an intake of a Mediterranean diet – which includes a lot of nuts, vegetables, olive oil, and fish; this diet is proven to be more helpful in boosting blood flow. An enhanced blood flow only means a better flow of blood to your penis as well. All this augurs well for a stiff erection and saying goodbye to your sexual problems.
It is always safe to take statins such as atorvastatin under the clinical supervision of a qualified medical practitioner. You also need to be aware of the possible side effects atorvastatin may trigger; these include – migraines, pain in the upper abdomen, abdominal discomforts such as nausea or vomiting, rashes on the skin, etc. In most cases, many of these side effects may cease to show up once your system gets used to the active ingredients of atorvastatin. However, if one or more of these discomforts is persisting for say, more than a week or 10 days – it is time to consult with your treating doctor and/or pharmacist.
In sum, if high cholesterol is the key cause of sexual problems like erectile dysfunction – then atorvastatin (also, rosuvastatin or a few other types of statins) may be of some help. You may need to remember that erectile dysfunction can get triggered by a host of other factors – such as atherosclerosis, being diabetic, hypertensive, etc. So, if your sexual problems are caused by any of these conditions, statins may be of very little support. Studies done on the efficacy of atorvastatin to treat erectile disorders are at a very nascent stage and are mainly done on smaller groups of men. Hence, you are advised to talk to a urologist or a qualified medical practitioner prior to starting to take atorvastatin to treat erectile dysfunction or other sexual conditions.