Can Diovan cause loss of libido?

It's not clear whether or how Diovan (valsartan) affects libido (sex drive), but research is ongoing to figure out the answer. Diovan, a drug that relaxes and dilates blood vessels, is prescribed for high blood pressure and congestive heart failure, and to prolong life after a heart attack.  

In one study of 120 postmenopausal women ages 51 to 55 who had mild to moderate high blood pressure, Italian researchers found that those who took Diovan for 16 weeks noted improvements in their sexual desire and increased fantasies and sexual activity. In comparison, women in the same study who took another kind of blood pressure medication called a beta blocker noted significant decreases in their sexual desire and sexual fantasies.

In another study, the same group of researchers looked at 160 men in their 40s who had high blood pressure but no history of sexual dysfunction. They compared men who took valsartan to men who took a beta blocker type of medication. At the end of 16 weeks, the men who took the beta blocker were more likely to report erectile dysfunction (about 14 percent of men) and significantly decreased sexual activity (intercourse 3.7 times per month on average) than the men who took valsartan. Less than 1 percent of the men taking valsartan reported erectile dysfunction, and many noted improvements in their sexual activity (intercourse more than 10 times per month on average).

Changes in libido -- either up or down -- were not noted in pre-market clinical trials of Diovan. The conditions that Diovan treats may themselves affect libido, so it's possible that treating high blood pressure or heart failure could itself improve sexual desire.
A small percent of patients taking Diovan experienced a loss of libido. Talk with your doctor about adjusting the dose of your medication. Also, make sure you let your doctor know before you stop taking any drug. Your blood pressure could rebound if you suddenly stop taking your Diovan.

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