How medication can be ruining your sex life
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (CBS12) —
If you are taking any prescription or over-the-counter drugs, it could be messing with your love life.
Some of them are quite surprising, too.
Even allergy pills can kill your sex drive.
For Ed Hammond of Okeechobee, it was his medication for anxiety.
His condition began decades ago and got progressively worse.
Eventually, it became debilitating and Ed couldn't leave his home.
"I was basically a zombie. That's the best way to explain it," said Ed, "I don't like feeling like this. I don't like making other people feel like this."
He tried medication after medication.
They either made him angry or tired or they just didn't work until his doctor prescribed Citalipram.
It's controlled his anxiety for years, but it has that pesky side effect.
SIDE EFFECT: LOW LIBIDO
"There is no sex life," Ed admitted.
Ed said the doctor never warned him of that potential side effect.
"My wife in the beginning, didn't understand it. She thought maybe something had happened with me and her, you know, took it personal," he said.
On a whim, Ed read the paperwork that came with this prescription and there is was: "possible side effects, decreased sex drive, impotence, difficulty have an orgasm."
"Citalipram and anything in that kind of category, which is the serotonin reuptake inhibitors, you're going to find a decrease in dopamine and serotonin is going to be increased, so that in turn is going to cause some people to be impotent. It could be that they have a decreased libido," explained West Palm Beach Lead Pharmacist Dawn Rantinella, who works at Center City Pharmacy.
Rantinella said there are a lot of prescription medications that can potentially kill your sex life, like birth control pills.
She said they release hormones that stop ovulation, but they also lower testosterone, which can mean a lower sex drive.
Proscar, which treats an enlarged prostate and Propecia, which prevents hair loss in men, can also cause men to lose something else.
"That's also going to compete with testosterone levels," explains Rantinella.
Other drugs that can kill your sexual urges are medical marijuana, anti-seizure drugs, opioids, beta blockers, benzodiazepines like Xanax and even antihistamines, particularly Benadryl.
"If you're going to take something that's going to dry your mouth, your nose, your eyes, so it's going to dry up everything," explained Rantinella.
Since not taking your medication isn't really an option, Rantinella suggests natural remedies, like a healthy diet low in sugar.
It will normalize your insulin levels.
Exercise can increase your serotonin levels naturally.
You can even have your hormones checked and chemically adjusted.
"All the patient has to do is express that to their pharmacist or their doctor so that we can find ways to improve that for them because it's not something they have to live with," Rantinella said.
As for Ed, he's okay with the status quo. Life is good right now.
"That's not what life is about, going out and having my next thrill," said Ed.
11 DRUGS WITH SEXUAL SIDE EFFECTS
Rantinella reviewed these 11 types of drugs that can negatively affect your sex drive.
1. Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs) like Prozac and Zoloft
2. Tricyclic antidepressants
3. Birth Control Pills
6. Antihistamines like Benadryl and Chlor-Trimeton
7. Medical Marijuana
8. Anti-seizure drugs like Carbamazepine (Tegretol)
9. Opioids like Vicodin, OxyContin, Percocet
10. Beta Blockers
11. Benzodiazepines like Xanax