Medicines that may affect libido

Medicines that may affect libido

Medicines that may affect libido

Sophie cousin health journalist

Updated December 21, 2016

Medical Validation: December 21, 2016

dr Jesus Cardenas allergist

Men and women are not in the same boat: The therapeutic classes that affect male and female libido are not the same, with the exception of certain antidepressants and psychotropic drugs, which can affect both sexes.

Medicines that cause erectile dysfunction

Drugs affecting female libido

Classes of drugs that affect the libido of both sexes

Unfairness or recruitment bias in clinical trials? Pharmacology has focused more on drugs that cause erectile dysfunction, with these effects being more easily reported and quantified than libido breakdowns on the female side who can have sex.

Medicines that cause erectile dysfunction

Complaints regarding the quality and duration of erections have been reported for the following treatments. But the nuances to be made are important.

These dysfunctions do not affect all patients, far from it. In addition, they can occur occasionally and not regularly. Finally: "What is the part of the treatment and that of the pathology itself? In the case of depression, we know very well that one of the symptoms is a decrease in the libido," stresses Professor Bégaud, Professor of Pharmacology at the University of Bordeaux.

There's also the psychological part to consider."Let's take a 50-year-old man who is in good hands. He's having a heart attack. It's a blast in his life that can have pretty far-reaching repercussions. Beware protect yourself from confounding factors," warns Professor Begaud. However, let's review the drugs for which this side effect has been reported.

Drugs in the cardiovascular field

Antihypertensive drugs are often involved. Among these, thiazide diuretics (Esidrex, Naturine, or Lodrine) are very commonly prescribed for arterial hypertension. According to a 20-year AFU report


21, these molecules double erectile dysfunction.

In addition, beta-blockers are also affected, specifically the following molecules: propranolol, pindolol and atenolol.

Finally, two other classes can cause erectile dysfunction: angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors or ACE inhibitors (Benazepril, Fosinopril, Captorpil) and calcium channel blockers (Alpress, Eupressyl, etc.).

Other cardiovascular drugs such as amiodarone (Corddarone) and disopyramide (Rythmodan) have also been linked.

Arzneimittel, die die Libido beeinflussen können

"On the other hand, the side effect of statins has never been officially described," specifies Professor Bégaud.

Treatments for prostate cancer

Most treatments for prostate cancer are anti-androgens, such as Androcur. "The negative effect of these treatments on erection is well known and expected," says Professor Bégaud.

On the other hand, mechanical treatments for prostate urinary disorders do not affect erection.

Drugs affecting female libido

"That there are probably drug-induced frigidities or delays in orgasm. But these phenomena are very little studied," regrets Professor Bégaud. "The complaint exists, but it is very difficult to compare it with specific drugs."

Any hormone intake in women can have an impact on libido. This is explained quite physiologically, since sexual function - in both women and men - is controlled by hormones that interact with each other.

"The main purpose of the pill is to block ovulation and calm local but also central phenomena. The peak of sexual desire observed in women a few days before ovulation to increase the likelihood of pregnancy is erased. " Pill,” explains Professor Bégaud. In addition, the dosage of estrogen and progesterone in the pill also has an impact on sexuality. Sometimes changing the pill can be more beneficial for the female libido.

Finally, thyroid treatments (Levothyrox) are also on the list of drugs that can affect female libido.

Classes of drugs that affect the libido of both sexes

Certain antidepressants

Important preamble: The drop in Lidibo very often occurs before treatment as it is one of the symptoms of depression.

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Diseases that affect libido



"The complaints mainly concern the class of serotonin reuptake inhibitors (Deroxat, Prozac, Seroplex)", underlines Professor Bégaud. But the cases are rare, a few percent of patients. "Be careful, we must not make people believe that they faint or get chills from taking Prozac, appetite, libido, and overall taste for life".

Some tricyclic antidepressants can also be affected.

Certain psychotropic drugs

Anxiety itself and its treatments, particularly benzodiazepines, can be to blame for low libido.

Less used, certain neuroleptics (Largactil, Haldol, Abilify) can also cause hormonal imbalances affecting libido.

Finally, the risk-benefit ratio must be properly assessed."We have to make decisions that are sometimes vital for the patient. Cardiovascular treatments or thyroid treatments cannot be stopped under any circumstances because the risks are too great. On the other hand, taking Far from always being justified, benzodiazepines are sometimes stopped when "it has a negative effect on the libido", underlines Professor Bégaud.

Remember that sometimes you may be offered a change in medication. "To correct these disorders, affected men can discuss with their doctor whether it is advisable to use Cialis (preferably Viagra)," specifies Professor Bégaud." Women can go to their gynecologist, who is the best person to talk to about these questions."