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DRUGS AND ISD

Because chemical as well as hormonal imbalances can adversely affect sexual desire, we always ask our ISD patients about the prescription medications they are taking and their alcohol or recreational drug use.

Prescription medications that can reduce sexual desire and/ or performance (see the table below) include sleeping pills and painkillers, which depress the activity of the central nervous system; allergy and anti-inflammatory drugs, which can block the action of testosterone; and blood pressure (antihypertensive) medications. In addition, drugs used to treat psychoses and certain types of depression may lower interest. Large doses of tranquilizers may decrease sex drive, but some people have found small doses sexually iminhibiting. Although there are no conclusive results yet, researchers are now exploring the possible benefits of some antidepressants in stimulating sexual desire.

As a rule, if you have started taking any prescription medications and have notice a subsequent drop in sexual desire or a change in how you function sexually, you should consult the physician who prescribed those drugs. Your doctor can tell you if this is a side effect and may be able to prescribe something that is less likely to produce it.

Keep in mind, however, that research on the effects of prescription drugs on sexuality is still fairly new and, at times, unreliable. That's why it's important to determine if your desire for sex decreased at the same time you began taking the medication, or if the decrease came first. Only then will your doctor be able to evaluate the effect of that medication on your sexuality.

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Men's Health-Erectile Dysfunction