Abrupt-onset, profound erectile dysfunction in a healthy young man after initiating over-the-counter omeprazole: a case report

J Med Case Rep. 2021 Jul 24;15(1):360. doi: 10.1186/s13256-021-02981-5.


Background: Proton pump inhibitors are frequently used (and often overused) medications with adverse effects including vitamin B12 deficiency, Clostridium difficile colitis, and increased risk of chronic kidney disease. Erectile dysfunction is largely unrecognized as an adverse effect of proton pump inhibitors despite increasing evidence that proton pump inhibitors may contribute to impaired nitric oxide generation and endothelial dysfunction.

Case presentation: A 38-year-old Caucasian man with mild hypertension and no other significant medical history developed profound erectile dysfunction within 2 days of initiating over-the-counter omeprazole therapy, with erectile function rapidly normalizing following discontinuation of the drug. At the time of the episode, the patient was on a stable dose of lisinopril and was taking no other medications or supplements. In the 2 years following the episode, the patient has had no further erectile difficulties.

Conclusion: Further study of erectile dysfunction as an adverse effect of proton pump inhibitors is needed. In the meantime, proton pump inhibitors should be considered as a potential cause of erectile dysfunction in healthy young patients and as a cause or contributor to erectile dysfunction in older patients in whom erectile dysfunction is often attributed to age or comorbidities.

Keywords: Case report; Endothelial dysfunction; Erectile dysfunction; Omeprazole; Proton pump inhibitor.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Enterocolitis, Pseudomembranous*
  • Erectile Dysfunction* / chemically induced
  • Erectile Dysfunction* / drug therapy
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Omeprazole / adverse effects
  • Proton Pump Inhibitors / adverse effects
  • Vitamin B 12 Deficiency*


  • Proton Pump Inhibitors
  • Omeprazole