Advertisement

Can medications cause sexual side effects?

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)

The following medications can cause sexual problems:

Birth control pills -- Because they directly affect a woman's hormones, birth control pills can decrease libido and sexual enjoyment.

Antidepressants -- These medications work by increasing the levels of a chemical called serotonin in the brain. The elevated levels boost your mood, but may inhibit sexual function. As a result, the below medications may cause decreased sex drive, impotence, delayed orgasm and other sexual side effects:

  • Monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI) antidepressants (Ex. moclobemide, phenelzine)
  • Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) antidepressants (Ex. fluoxetine)
  • Tricyclic antidepressants (Ex. amitryptiline)

Blood pressure medication -- Some medications taken to lower blood pressure can affect the nervous system reaction that stimulates an erection. The specific way they lower libido varies by type of medicine. The following medications are commonly cited as causing sexual problems:

  • Alpha-blockers (i.e. prazosin, doxazosin)
  • Clonidine
  • Methyldopa

Other:

  • Phenothiazines (i.e. chlorpromazine, thioridazine)
  • Risperidone
  • Benzodiazepines
  • Cimetidine
  • Cyproterone acetate
  • Disulfiram
  • Finasteride
  • Metoclopramide
  • Opioid painkillers (i.e. morphine)
  • Spironolactone

This content originally appeared on doctoroz.com
Yes. Particularly blood pressure medication. This can interfere with getting or maintaining an erection for men. Since treatment for hypertension is common for diabetics and diabetes is so common, erectile disfunction due to blood pressure medication must also be a common side effect. If this is your experience, discuss it with your physician. He or she may be able to adjust your medications to lessen the problem.
Madeleine M. Castellanos, MD
Psychiatry
Sexual side effects from medications are quite common in both men and women. For guys, those side effects usually manifest as erectile problems, delayed ejaculation, and a lower libido. Studies suggest that an estimated 75 percent of people who experience sexual side effects from prescribed medications don't tell their doctors. But disclosure is important: If your guy is having sexual dysfunction and is on any kind of medication, it's worth him talking to his physician about possible substitutes or alternatives.

Continue Learning about Sex and Relationships

Is TV Limiting Your Relationship?
Is TV Limiting Your Relationship?
Quiz: Who has 50 percent less sex: The couple with two kids; the couple with no kids, the couple who live in Paris; or the couple who live in New York...
Read More
How does sexual orientation affect response to sexual stimuli?
Bonnie Lynn Wright, PhDBonnie Lynn Wright, PhD
The simple answer to this question is no, your response to sexual stimuli is no different. Getting t...
More Answers
10 Best Cities for Sex
10 Best Cities for Sex10 Best Cities for Sex10 Best Cities for Sex10 Best Cities for Sex
Find out where men and women are really satisfied.
Start Slideshow
How Can Aging Affect a Sexual Relationship?
How Can Aging Affect a Sexual Relationship?

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.