It’s common knowledge that any medication may have some unintended side effects, depending on many factors – dosage, frequency of use, metabolism variation, age, etc. Some people use the medication gabapentin, which is prescribed for a number of purposes, including diabetic nerve pain and epilepsy. Ironically, in some cases, a man using this pain medication may actually experience penis pain – and there can be other issues which affect a man’s penis health as well.
As mentioned, gabapentin is often used in treating nerve damage and the resulting pain or numbness. This is often an issue in diabetes, but can also be due to other causes of neural damage. The medication is an anticonvulsant, meaning that is can be helpful in managing epilepsy. Doctors also prescribe it for other conditions, such as restless leg syndrome, hot flashes, migraines and priapism.
Some men who have used gabapentin have reported that it can produce penis pain, in some cases fairly significant. The pain can range from a persistent low level throb to sensations of sharp, burning pain. At least one man has reported that the burning sensation requires the application of a cloth soaked in cold water several times a day.
Exactly why the gabapentin is sometimes associated with penis pain is unclear. The good news is that, in addition to being a fairly rare side effect, it tends to resolve naturally within about a month. Men who do experience this side effect from taking the medication should consult with their doctors to determine if a different medication should be prescribed or if there are additional medications that may be useful in treating the penis pain. For example, some doctors find that a topical numbing crème can effectively reduce the pain.
Other penis issues
There are several other penis-based issues beyond pain which are sometimes associated with use of gabapentin. Earlier, it was mentioned that gabapentin is sometimes prescribed in cases of priapism. Priapism is a situation in which the penis becomes engorged for an abnormally long time – typically four hours or more – and cannot return to its flaccid state. This can lead to long-term nerve and tissue damage in the penis.
Gabapentin is used in treating priapism because it has a de-tumescent capability. But that means that some men not suffering from priapism may find that it creates erectile dysfunction situation. This may prevent them from becoming erect or may decrease the firmness of their erection.
In other cases, men on this medication report they are able to achieve erection but that they have difficulty achieving orgasm.
Finally, some men report that their penis takes on a swollen appearance at times while using gabapentin. This may also be accompanied by another form of penis pain, “tenderness” in the swollen area.
Men who feel that gabapentin is causing unwanted side effects should discuss alternative medications with their physician. Many medications have side effects, and often medications that treat the same issue may have similar side effects; however, it may be worthwhile to explore different options to find the one which works best, as every individual reacts differently to any medication.
Penis pain, whether from a medication or another source, is not something men enjoy dealing with. For everyday penis pain, regular use of a top drawer penis health crème (health professionals recommend Man1 Man Oil, which is clinically proven mild and safe for skin) can strengthen the penis and ease typical soreness. A crème with potent moisturizing capabilities is best at this, so select one that includes both a high-end emollient (such as Shea butter) and a natural hydrator (such as vitamin E). It also is beneficial to find a crème that contains L-arginine, an amino acid that is part of the process by which penile blood vessels are kept open and receptive to vital increased blood flow.