Can Xanax Abuse Cause Erectile Dysfunction (ED)?

Xanax is capable of causing erectile dysfunction and anorgasmia. With proper medical supervision, these side effects can be managed to maintain normal function.

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Xanax, the brand name for alprazolam, is associated with sexual dysfunction.

While erectile dysfunction is a possible side effect of Xanax misuse, anorgasmia is more common. Anorgasmia is the inability to orgasm despite being physically aroused.

Fortunately, anorgasmia is a relatively rare side effect in cases where Xanax is given in lower, well-regulated doses.

Using higher doses of Xanax or abusing Xanax will exponentially increase your risk of sexual dysfunction.

How Xanax Abuse May Cause ED

Xanax is capable of affecting your sex life in a number of ways due to the natural effects of the drug.

Depressant Effects

First and foremost, Xanax is a depressant with sedative effects.

Its chief job is to reduce the excitability of your neural activity. The drug works directly on your GABA receptors. These neurotransmitters produce a calming effect.

Decreased Libido

The GABA receptors will not target specific neural activity related to anxiety. Using Xanax will slow other forms of neural excitability as well. At certain doses, that may include sexual arousal.

In some cases, the effects of Xanax can cause a loss of interest in sex, which can present in a number of ways, including erectile dysfunction.

Blood Pressure Changes

Another effect of slowing activity in the central nervous system is a temporary drop in blood pressure.

Lower blood pressure can make it harder for the genitalia to engorge in both men and women by decreasing blood flow.

This symptom is most obvious in the male sex organs, but it can affect the pleasurable sensations associated with sex for people with female sex organs.

Depending on your exterior sex organs, the decreased blood pressure may make penetrative sex unpleasant, difficult, or even impossible.

Factors That Influence Xanax-Induced Erectile Dysfunction

If you are worried about Xanax-induced sexual dysfunction, there are a number of factors to consider.

A low daily dose of Xanax under proper medical supervision is very unlikely to cause sex-related side effects. However, you may have specific risk factors that increase your odds.

Anxiety Disorder

Anxiety disorders are often treated with benzodiazepines like Xanax. As Xanax is a relatively mild benzo, you may need a slightly larger dose depending on the nature of your condition.

A higher dosage for a chronic anxiety disorder or panic disorder medication may increase the risk that you will experience some form of libido loss or sexual dysfunction.

In turn, Xanax abuse can worsen anxiety symptoms, which may prompt you to take higher doses in an attempt to reverse this condition, which may ultimately increase sexual and other side effects.

With that said, your healthcare provider can help you manage your medications to address those side effects if they arise.


A loss of libido and sexual dysfunction are both common side effects of depression and antidepressants.

Adding Xanax on top of that could drastically increase your chances of developing those conditions.

Just as Xanax can increase symptoms of anxiety, Xanax misuse may worsen depression symptoms.

If your sexual health is important to you personally, talk to your doctor about what you can do.

There are likely other medications you can try, and you may be able to experiment with a lower dose under supervision to help alleviate your symptoms.


Taking other prescription drugs that lower your blood pressure or have depressive effects could increase your risk of experiencing sexual dysfunction.

As always, a conversation with your doctor is likely all that is necessary to find a combination of prescription medications that work better for you.


Older people are more prone to sexual dysfunction.

While Xanax-induced sexual dysfunction could affect anyone, you may have a higher risk if you’re over the age of 50. Just talk to your doctor if you start to have complications.

Health Conditions

There are a variety of health conditions that may exacerbate the effects of Xanax. Heart disease, high blood pressure, and other cardiovascular conditions are major contributors.

To prevent sexual dysfunction, you should discuss all current medical conditions with your healthcare professional before taking Xanax.

Other Sexual Side Effects Of Xanax Abuse

The sexual side effects of Xanax abuse come under the umbrella of sexual dysfunction. The particular side effects can include reduced sex drive, erectile dysfunction, and anorgasmia.

While these conditions are not directly threatening to your health, they can be disruptive to your life and your relationships. Do not hesitate to ask for professional medical advice if these conditions arise.

Is Erectile Dysfunction From Xanax Reversible?

Erectile dysfunction from Xanax is fully reversible.

In studies focused on dosage and the likelihood of sexual dysfunction, researchers found that simple adjustments were able to reduce or resolve sexual side effects.

Dosage Adjustment

In the abovementioned study, the patient under observation experienced no sexual dysfunction using 1 milligram of Xanax per day. At 2.5 mg, the patient experienced anorgasmia.

Fortunately, reducing the patient to 1.5 mg per day resolved all of their sexual symptoms, including the failure of ejaculation.

Anxiety Medication Change

If a dosage adjustment is not appropriate in your case, you may discuss trying another anti-anxiety drug or supplements with a lower risk of sexual side effects.

Treatment Services For Xanax Addiction

If you or a loved one is abusing Xanax, there are resources available that can help to provide addiction treatment for withdrawal symptoms.

Dedicated addiction recovery programs provide detox assistance as well as inpatient or outpatient treatment.

Through Xanax recovery programs, you can get the treatment you need to heal your physical and mental health from addiction.

Find Substance Abuse Treatment At Bedrock Recovery Center

At Bedrock Recovery Center, we understand your prescription drug addiction is a medical condition that needs real medical care. There’s no reason to suffer the side effects of Xanax abuse.

If you are ready to get the help you need, contact our Massachusetts treatment center today to discuss treatment options.

  1. U.S. National Library of Medicine: MedlinePlus
  2. National Library of Medicine

Written by Bedrock Recovery Center Editorial Team

© 2023 Bedrock Recovery Center | All Rights Reserved

* This page does not provide medical advice.

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