Several alternative treatments are used to treat erectile dysfunction, but more studies are needed to see whether they are safe or effective. Alternative treatments used for erectile dysfunction include:
- Korean red ginseng (Panax ginseng)
- Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), a hormone that's a building block for testosterone
While some of these supplements appear to be relatively safe, others are more risky and can interact with medications or cause other problems. Before using any supplement, OK it with your doctor to make sure it's safe for you — especially if you have chronic health problems.
Some alternative products that claim to work for erectile dysfunction can be dangerous. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued warnings about several types of "herbal viagra" because they contain potentially harmful drugs not listed on the label. Some of these drugs can interact with prescription drugs and cause dangerously low blood pressure. These products are especially dangerous for men who take nitrates.
Feb. 10, 2012
- Erectile dysfunction. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. http://kidney.niddk.nih.gov/kudiseases/pubs/ED/. Accessed Dec. 2, 2011.
- Diaz JR VA, et al. Male sexual dysfunction. Primary Care Clinics Office Practice. 2010;37:473.
- Erectile dysfunction. The Merck Manuals: The Merck Manual for Healthcare Professionals. http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/genitourinary_disorders/male_sexual_dysfunction/erectile_dysfunction.html#v1153706. Accessed Dec. 2, 2011.
- AUA guideline on the management of erectile dysfunction: Diagnosis and treatment recommendations. Linthicum, Md.: American Urological Association. http://www.auanet.org/content/guidelines-and-quality-care/clinical-guidelines.cfm?sub=ed. Accessed Dec. 2, 2011.
- Alberson M, et al. Evaluation and treatment of erectile dysfunction. Medical Clinics of North America. 2011;95:201.
- Martin KA. Treatment of male sexual dysfunction. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed Dec. 2, 2011.
- Erectile dysfunction. Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database. http://www.naturaldatabase.com. Accessed Dec. 5, 2011.
- Aung HH, et al. Alternative therapies for male and female sexual dysfunction. The American Journal of Chinese Medicine. 2004;32:161.
- Hidden risks of erectile dysfunction "treatments" sold online. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. http://www.fda.gov/ForConsumers/ConsumerUpdates/ucm048386.htm. Accessed Dec. 5, 2011.