7 Meds That Can Wreck Your Sex Life - Part 3
Welcome to another day in my life. Today is Saturday and I hope you had a safe and great week. It is another busy week for Dab the AIDS Bear. My partner's mother and sister are in town visiting this weekend and we are having a great time with them.
For the past two days, I have been blogging about the problems medications can cause with having sex. If you have not already read the past two blogs, I would suggest you read those before reading this one. Today concludes the three part series on the subject.
Why they’re prescribed: Benzodiazepines, commonly known as tranquilizers, are used to treat anxiety, insomnia, agitation and muscle spasms, and to prevent seizures.
How they can cause sexual dysfunction: The sedative and muscle-relaxant properties of benzodiazepines are thought to lessen sexual interest, excitement and sensation. Benzodiazepines may also interfere with the production of testosterone, a hormone important for sexual desire in women as well as men.
The sexual problems most frequently associated with benzodiazepines are diminished orgasms, pain during intercourse, ED and ejaculation problems.
Options: Many patients with mild anxiety or insomnia don’t need benzodiazepines at all. And for all the conditions listed above, there are alternative drug and nondrug treatments. Melatonin, in doses from 3 milligrams to 10 milligrams before bedtime, for instance, sometimes helps to reestablish healthy sleep patterns. Elderly people should never use diphenhydramine (Benadryl) or any sleep aid with a name ending in “PM.” Talk with your doctor or other health care provider.
6. H2 blockers
Why they’re prescribed: H2 blockers, also called H2-receptor antagonists, are used to treat gastrointestinal disorders, including gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), gastric ulcers, peptic ulcers and erosive esophagitis.
How they can cause sexual dysfunction: H2 blockers can cause impotence (as well as breast enlargement in men) when taken at high doses for a long period of time.
Cimetidine (Tagamet) is associated with a wider range of sex-related side effects than other H2 blockers, including ranitidine (Zantac), famotidine (Pepcid) and nizatidine (Axid). Cimetidine’s side effects include decreased libido, reduced sperm count and ED.
Options: If you are taking an H2 blocker for GERD or other reflux problems — and H2 blockers, with the exception of cimetidine, are the treatment of choice for older people — changes in your diet and sleep habits may be helpful. Some of my patients have reported success with the home remedy of apple cider vinegar and honey (one tablespoon of each in a glass of water), taken throughout the day, along with melatonin at bedtime.
Why they’re prescribed: Anticonvulsant drugs are typically used to control seizures in people who have epilepsy. They are also used to treat some types of chronic pain, including neuropathic pain and migraines, even though they weren’t designed for that purpose. Anticonvulsants are also increasingly being used “off label” in the treatment of bipolar disorder.
How they can cause sexual dysfunction: Studies have shown that these drugs can lower testosterone levels, which can depress desire and interfere with arousal (erection problems for men, lubrication problems for women). They also can impair the ability to have orgasms.
Options: Some newer anticonvulsants like gabapentin (Neurontin) and topiramate (Topamax) may have fewer side effects than older drugs like carbamazepine (Tegretol) and phenytoin (Dilantin), so ask your doctor or other health care provider if switching medications makes sense for you — and your sex life.
Now you know the rest of the story about medications and how they can affect your sex life. Hope you have a safe and great weekend.
Until we meet again; here's wishing you health, hope, happiness and just enough.
big bear hug,