Men scheduled for surgery or other medical procedures requiring anesthesia must inform their doctors and any healthcare providers administering anesthesia if they are taking drugs or other remedies to treat erectile dysfunction, according to the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists.
Drugs used to treat erectile dysfunction such as Viagra and Cialis operate by opening blood vessels and relaxing muscles. Dangerously low blood pressure may result from the combination of erectile dysfunction drugs, and anesthesia or other medications used during surgery, which could be life-threatening.
Although many men hesitate to share this type of private information, it’s imperative to your health to let your doctor know of any and all medications, over-the-counter dietary supplements, and vitamins you are taking, including herbal and homeopathic remedies. People mistakenly believe that herbal remedies and dietary supplements are harmless, but when taken in combination with other medicines, or anesthesia, may create dangerous problems that could be life-threatening.
The American Association of Nurse Anesthetists also recommends stopping any medications for erectile dysfunction several days before undergoing anesthesia to allow the drug to completely exit your body and preclude any negative side effects from the drug during a surgical procedure.
We recommend creating a list of all medications, dietary supplements, vitamins, and herbal and homeopathic remedies, and keeping it on your smartphone or mobile device. Update it whenever you begin or stop taking anything new, and share it with all your medical providers and your pharmacist in order to avoid any dangerous interactions. It’s also a good idea to share the list with your spouse, caregiver, a friend, or someone else whom you trust who can provide the list to healthcare personnel in the event of an emergency, or if you become incapacitated.