By Lead writer: Louise Sloan
Updated: June 06, 2018

Some men who drink excessively or take recreational drugs such as methamphetamines, cocaine, or ecstasy find it difficult to get and maintain an erection and turn to erectile dysfunction (ED) medications for a temporary solution.

While ED meds (Viagra, Levitra, and Cialis) are considered very safe on their own and there's no solid research on the effects of recreational use, doctors say mixing them with intoxicants could be unsafe—especially in large amounts.

"There could be risks associated, especially since many drugs lower blood pressure and impair judgment," says Ridwan Shabsigh, MD, director of the division of urology at Maimonides Medical Center and professor of clinical urology at Columbia University in New York City.

The ED drugs' side effects—headache, sinus congestion, indigestion, and so-called blue vision—are certainly more common when you take more than the amount prescribed for ED.

(What is known is that nitrates such as amyl nitrite, or "poppers," and prescription nitroglycerin should never be combined with ED drugs, as this can be deadly.)

Also: Don't buy it online
Your email inbox is likely filled with spam advertising cheap ED meds. But purchasing erectile dysfunction medications without a prescription or outside a reputable U.S. pharmacy can be dangerous, not to mention illegal.

You just don't have any guarantee about the quality and authenticity of these products; buyers often receive fake or expired medications, hazardous substitutes, or weak formulations of the pills.