Many, especially the male folks are quick to turn to medicine to get a boost and enhance their sex life. Popular in this field are Viagra and other available “manpower” drugs. But there are also medications that dampen your sex drive and make you uninterested in having sex or even kill your libido. You may even find it hard to remember when last you made love with your spouse.
Below is a list of the possible culprits in your medicine chest:
Though depression itself is known to lower sex drive, some antidepressants can greatly reduce sex drive. They include:
- Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs) such as Prozac (fluoxetine) and Zoloft (sertraline) which improve mood by raising serotonin. Unfortunately, as they improve mood, they can also lower libido. Wellbutrin (bupropion) and Viibryd (vilazodone) are two SSRIs that don’t have this side effect. Exercising while taking these antidepressants can counter this unwanted side effect.
Exercising while taking these antidepressants can counter this unwanted side effect.
- Tricyclic Antidepressants such as amitryptyline can also decrease libido and is dose dependent, low doses are less likely to give this unwanted side effect.
ORAL CONTRACEPTIVES can lower levels of sex hormones, including testosterone, and therefore may also affect libido. Bear in mind that the pill can also increase sex drive as women are more confident in their birth control and find that their sexuality improves, so this goes both ways.
FINASTERIDE is used to treat benign prostrate hyperplasia or BPH, better known as an enlarged prostate. It acts by preventing testosterone from converting into its active form. Lower testosterone can mean a lower libido.
- Chlorpheniramine (piriton) and Diphenhydramine (benadryl), may alleviate your allergies, but temporarily affect your love life. The solution here could be as simple as carefully timing when you take the drug since many of these drugs do not last 24 hours and certainly their side effects don’t. They should be cleared in eight hours in younger and healthier patients. Keep in mind that antihistamines are also found in many combination cough-and-cold medicines so read the label. You may be taking antihistamines and lowering your libido without knowing it.
The solution here could be as simple as carefully timing when you take the drug since many of these drugs do not last 24 hours and certainly their side effects don’t.
- Carbamazepine (Tegretol) can be described as lifesaving for people who have seizures and some with bipolar disorder. But the price can be reduced sexual desire. Tegretol and other drugs like it work by preventing impulses from traveling along the nerve cells, but therein lies the problem. An orgasm is similar to a seizure—in both, sensory input triggers a body response—so medications that dampen nerve impulses can also reduce pleasurable sensations. In short, the things that used to stimulate you just may not do it for you any more.
An orgasm is similar to a seizure—in both, sensory input triggers a body response—so medications that dampen nerve impulses can also reduce pleasurable sensations
SOME BETA BLOCKERS such as propranolol and metoprolol has great benefit to hearts, but not necessarily sex lives. In rare cases, even eye drops containing the beta blocker Timolol (used to treat glaucoma) can decrease libido.
If you suspect your low libido might be related to your medication, talk to your doctor. (Don’t just stop taking a potential lifesaver.) He or she will probably be able to suggest an alternative.