Diabetes Home > Metformin and Erectile Dysfunction

There are several possible side effects of metformin; erectile dysfunction, however, does not appear to be one of them. In fact, it is possible that metformin might actually help with erectile dysfunction by getting blood sugar levels under control.

An Overview of Metformin and Erectile Dysfunction

Metformin (Glucophage®) is a prescription medication used to treat type 2 diabetes. As with any medication, metformin has possible side effects. In clinical studies prior to the approval of metformin, erectile dysfunction was not reported as a metformin side effect. Actually, it is possible that taking metformin may help to improve erectile dysfunction associated with diabetes (known as diabetic impotence). This is because metformin helps to control blood sugar, which may help with diabetic impotence.
 
Erectile dysfunction (also known as ED or impotence) is usually defined as a total inability to achieve an erection, an inconsistent ability to do so, or a tendency to sustain only brief erections. Ultimately, erectile dysfunction is the repeated inability to get or keep an erection firm enough for sexual intercourse.
 

Understanding Clinical Trials

Before medicines are approved, they must go through several clinical studies where thousands of people are given a particular medicine and are then compared to a group of people not given the medicine. In these studies, the side effects are always documented. As a result, it is possible to see what side effects occur, how often they appear, and how they compare to the group not taking the medicine.
 
Sexual side effects, such as a decrease in sex drive (libido) or erectile dysfunction, were not reported as a common side effect in these studies. These studies did not include information on rare side effects (occurring in less than 1 percent of people). Therefore, it is possible that erectile dysfunction might be a rare metformin side effect.
 
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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