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What medications can cause sexual side effects?

Certain medications, such as antidepressants, antihistamines, chemotherapy, and drug treatments for high blood pressure, may contribute to erectile dysfunction in men, and reduce sexual desire and increase vaginal dryness in women. Don't just live with it, ask your doctor about possible solutions.

Madeleine M. Castellanos, MD
Psychiatry
Here are some of the most common medications and their potential effects on a man's sex life:
  • Antacids (famotidine, ranitidine) can cause erectile dysfunction.
  • Anti-anxiety drugs (alprazolam, clonazepam, lorazepam, diazepam) may result in lower libido, delayed ejaculation, and erectile dysfunction.
  • Antidepressants (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors [SSRIs], serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor [SNRIs], monoamine oxidase inhibitors [MAOIs], tricyclic antidepressants [TCAs]) can lower libido and cause erectile dysfunction, delayed ejaculation, and sometimes painful ejaculation.
  • Antifungal drugs (ketoconazole) can lower libido and cause erectile dysfunction.
  • Antipsychotics (haloperidol, risperidone, fluphenazine, quetiapine, olanzapine, ziprasidone, fluphenazine, clozapine) can result in lower libido, erectile dysfunction, and difficulty ejaculating.
  • Blood pressure medication (beta-blockers, antiarrhythmic drugs, diuretics) can cause low libido, erectile dysfunction, and delayed ejaculation.
  • Cholesterol-lowering drugs (statins, fibrates) can cause sexual side effects like low libido, and erectile dysfunction since cholesterol is needed to produce testosterone.
  • Chemotherapy drugs can cause low libido and ejaculatory problems.
  • Prostate drugs (finasteride, prazosin, tamsulosin) can cause erectile dysfunction. Terazosin may result in priapism. Anti-androgen drugs used to treat prostate cancer can also cause side effects because they are made to lower testosterone.

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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.