Sexual Health Q&A
While it’s difficult to tell how a certain medication will affect an individual, the following types of drugs might lower libido in some people. (Please note that this is not an exhaustive list.)
Patients who think their medications are affecting their libido should talk to their doctor. Sometimes, changing either the dose or the medication can help. For example, newer antidepressants and antipsychotics that have little effect on libido are now available.
It’s important that any changes be made under a doctor’s guidance. Some drugs cannot be stopped abruptly and need a weaning period.
Also, a doctor can help evaluate other factors that might be contributing to low sex drive, such as hormonal changes, stress, or depression.
Antidepressants include selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and tricyclic antidepressants.
Antipsychotics are prescribed for mental health conditions, such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.
Beta-blockers are used to lower blood pressure. They might also be prescribed for people with glaucoma and migraines.
Benzodiazepines may be taken for anxiety and insomnia, among other conditions.
Estrogen-containing drugs may lower libido in men.
Finasteride is the main ingredient in two drugs: Proscar and Propecia. Proscar is used to treat benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) – an enlarged prostate. Propecia is prescribed for men with male-pattern hair loss.
Opioids, like morphine and oxycodone, are strong painkillers that can decrease a person’s sex drive.
Oral contraceptives (birth control pills) can influence a woman’s hormones and, consequently, her libido.
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