Drugs causing sexual dysfunction

Drugs causing sexual dysfunction

Common drugs that cause sexual dysfunction are antidepressants, antihistamines, opioids, alcohol and diuretics (water pills).

Drugs that can cause sexual dysfunction are:

  • Drugs acting on the brain
    • Antidepressants like amitriptyline, amoxapine, clomipramine, doxepine, maprotiline, protriptyline, trazodone. The SSRI group of antidepressants that includes fluoxetine and sertraline are particularly notorious for causing sexual problems.
    • Antipsychotics like chlorpromazine, haloperidol, thioridazine and trifluoperazine
    • Antianxiety drugs like diazepam
    • Alcohol, opioids and cocaine
    • Amphetamines
    • Drugs used to treat Parkinson’s disease like levodopa, benztropin, bromocriptine
    • Drugs used to treat seizures like carbamazepine, ethosuximide, phenytoin
    • Drugs used to treat hypertension like methyldopa, prazosin, clonidine, guanethidine and reserpine
    • Antihistamines like diphenhydramine, dimenhydrinate, hydroxyzine, meclizine, promethazine – Antihistamines cause drowsiness, and in females they also cause dryness of vagina leading to pain during sex.
  • Drugs that alter the effect of hormones
    • Spironolactone (an antihypertensive/ diuretic)
    • Cimetidine (an anti-ulcer drug)
    • Finasteride or dutasteride (used for prostate enlargement), cyproterone acetate – These drugs block the effects of androgens
    • Estrogen
    • GnRH analogues such as nafarelin, triptorelin, goserelin and leuprolide
    • Ketoconazole
  • Drugs used to treat high blood pressure

They may decrease blood pressure, thus decreasing the blood pressure in the penis during an erection

    • Diuretics like amiloride, indapamide, thiazide diuretics and spironolactone
    • Beta – blockers like atenolol, metoprolol
    • Alpha blockers like methyldopa, prazosin, terazosin, tamsulosin and clonidine
    • Adrenergic neuronal blockers like guanethidine and reserpine
    • Calcium channel blockers like verapamil
  • Among the antihypertensive drugs, ACE inhibitors like enalapril and ramipril are less likely to cause sexual dysfunction
  • Drugs used to treat abnormal heart rhythm or arrhythmias
    • Amiodarone
    • Mexelitine
  • Drugs used to treat high lipid level
    • Clofibrate
  • Painkillers
    • Naproxen and ibuprofen
  • Anticancer drugs
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