Last Updated on Jun 23, 2018

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


  1. MacLean F, Lee A. Drug-induced sexual dysfunction and infertility. The Pharmaceutical Journal 1999; 262 (7047): 780-784


BradSteve Monday, August 6, 2012

Touch each other. Too often, particularly in long-term relationships, we stop touching each other unless we want sex. Don’t let that happen! Make a point of touching your partner throughout the day. That could be kissing, hugs, stroking his cheek, even running your fingers through his hair. Then find opportunities for more intensive touching, such as giving each other massages. You will find that your entire body has erotic potential, and it is fun to explore each other’s bodies and find which areas provide pleasurable sensations and which do not. Then communicate this with each other.

gary39 Tuesday, February 22, 2011

i am taking - sertraline 200mg quetiapine 100mg simvastatin 25mg diazepam 4mg omeprazole 20mg ramipril 10mg felodipine 2.5mg I am suffering erectile dysfunction and was wondering if the drugs im taking is causing this. Thank you for your help,my email address is

Do you wish to consult Pharmacologist for your problem? Ask your question

Most Popular on Medindia