Drugs and Diseases That Can Hurt Your Sex Life

by | Jan 28, 2021 | Erectile Dysfunction | 0 comments

Many health conditions and their treatments contribute to sexual dysfunction. Commonly implicated medications include anti-depressants, antihypertensives anti-androgens, and anti-psychotic drugs.   

Many medicines are known to alter normal sexual function in males. In most cases, the sexual problem is an adverse effect, and every effort is made to minimize the sexual adverse effects of therapeutic pharmacological agents. Understanding the potential of drug-induced sexual issues and their negative impact on treatment adherence will enable urologists and sexual health experts to tailor treatments for their patients. Encouraging people to discuss their sexual dysfunctions and providing techniques to manage the problems are important to good clinical care.

Several classes of prescription medicines contribute to sexual dysfunction in men. Patients who developed drug-induced sexual problems are more likely to be non-adherent. This has been found with anti-psychotic drugs and antihypertensive agents. Use of recreational drugs such as narcotics, alcohol, hallucinogens, and stimulants also affect sexual function. Short-term alcohol use affects sexual desire, diminishes performance, and delays ejaculation/orgasm. Many substance abusers worldwide report better sexual function after stopping the use.

The sexual function involves sexual desire, arousal, and ejaculation/orgasm. Both men and women experience problems in any of these stages. Low sex drive, lack of lubrication in women, erectile dysfunction, premature or absent ejaculation, and painful sex affect a man and greatly impact his partner.

Discussing with the patient

Patients undergoing long-term treatment for a certain health condition may not know their sexual problem due to their treatment. In other cases, where personal relationship issues or other stressors contribute to sexual dysfunction, people blame their drugs for their lack of desire or another sexual issue. Sometimes health care specialists consider asking patients if they had noticed any sexual dysfunction as an adverse effect of their medications and may suggest them discontinue treatment. Patients experiencing sexual problems due to their drugs are less likely to continue treatment even when they are crucial for their overall health. While consulting a urologist or a gynaecologist, make sure your sexual issues to be discussed well and considered in treatment decisions. 

Hypertension & Sexual Dysfunction

Hypertension or high blood pressure is associated with sexual dysfunction. There are chances that antihypertensive agents may contribute to the sexual dysfunction in men and lead to discontinuation of treatment.  According to research studies, men using beta-blockers for treating high blood pressure had erectile dysfunction. Also, centrally acting alpha agonists and diuretics or blood thinners have also been associated with sexual dysfunction. A medicine called spironolactone which works by blocking the androgen receptor, is linked with ED in men.


Sexual health issues are more common in women with high blood pressure. However, hypertensive agents’ adverse sexual effects have been poorly studied in women. Hypertensive drugs may have similar adverse effects on the different sexual phases such as the arousal phase in men, leading to lubrication failure. If data is to be believed, decreased sexual desire affects around 41% of women and decreased sexual pleasure in approximately 34% of women. Medicines such as valsartan belong to a drug class. The angiotensin II receptor antagonist is associated with improved sexual desire compared with beta-blocker atenolol in women with high blood pressure. 

Medicines associated with Sexual Dysfunction.

Anti-depressants- drugs such as fluoxetine, paroxetine, sertraline, amitriptyline, clomipramine, phenelzine, and imipramine low sex drive. Decreased arousal has been reported in patients who used anti-depressants, including tranylcypromine doxepin, citalopram, nortriptyline, etc. People using fluvoxamine, escitalopram, doxepin, may experience orgasm or ejaculatory difficulties.  

Psychotropic drugs- Patients using lithium, risperidone, haloperidol, alprazolam, fluphenazine, and chlorpromazine may experience different sexual phases, including low sex drive and decreased arousal, and orgasm/ejaculatory difficulties.

Cardiovascular drugs- Low sex drive is commonly associated with digoxin, spironolactone, clonidine, methyldopa, and hydrochlorothiazide. Patients taking beta-blockers, perhexiline spironolactone, clonidine should be extra cautious as these drugs can cause decreased arousal in both men and women.

Other drugs- Cimetidine can decrease sex drive. While other drugs such as cyproterone, antihistamines, disulfiram, propantheline, gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonists, and pseudoephedrine.

Psychoactive Medicines

Aside from the drug, it is important to know the effects of psychiatric problems on the patient’s relationship and address the psychosocial issues. According to research studies, up to 70% of patients with depression have sexual problems. Clinical reports indicate that both men and women with schizophrenia also experience sexual dysfunction. In these patients, it is sometimes difficult to distinguish whether the sexual function is due to the illness or the drugs’ effects. 

Anti-psychotics- Some anti-psychotic medications may affect sexual function more than others. Men taking these medications report erectile dysfunction, delayed ejaculation, decreased orgasmic quality, and diminished interest in sex. Some women may experience low sex drive, trouble achieving orgasm, and change sin orgasmic quality. Most anti-psychotics contribute to sexual dysfunctions by blocking dopamine chemical in the body. This causes hyperprolactinaemia which suppresses hypogonadism in both sexes. This reduces sex drive and impairs arousal and orgasm in both men and women. It also causes loss of ovarian function in females and low testosterone in males.

Antiepileptics- Sexual health issues are common in people who use antiepileptic drugs. Medicines such as topiramate and gabapentin are associated with orgasmic dysfunction in both men and women. These drugs may also cause women to experience reduced libido.

Birth Control Pills

Oral contraceptives decrease desire in women, although there is little evidence to demonstrate this. Using them can lower the levels of sex hormones in a woman’s body, affecting their libido. If you experience sexual issues after starting birth control, ask your health ace specialist about trying non-medical forms such as an IUD, diaphragms, condoms, or switch to an alternative of your regular oral contraceptive.


Understanding both the impact of the disease and its effects on the patient and their partner is important to provide good clinical care. The health care professional needs to acknowledge and encourage discussion regarding sexual function. Before using medication for your health condition, it is important to enquire about the impact of drugs on sexual function. This will help ensure patients and their partners understand their sexual difficulties and treatment options. You can order ed pills online from premium rx drugs and enjoy your sex life fully.

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