Drugs That Affect Your Sexual Desire – It is estimated that 30-40 percent of people around the world experience a lack of interest in sex for at least several months in a given year. The reasons for decreased libido are complex and range from stress and other emotional difficulties to physical problems, including erectile dysfunction.
History in Brief
- Many medications interfere with healthy sexual function and cause side effects such as erectile dysfunction and decreased libido
- Medications that can harm your sex life include: antidepressants, opioid analgesics, oral contraceptives, antihistamines, anti-anxiety medications, baldness medications, anticonvulsant medications and more
- If the medication is not the culprit for its low libido, it is probably the lifestyle factors
- High intensity exercise, a healthy diet and reduce your stress levels are necessary to have an optimal sexual health life
Most people do not seek help for chronic low libido, which is unfortunate because regular sex with a committed partner can not be ignored as a factor to reduce stress, strengthen self-esteem and foster feelings of intimacy and union between the couple.
A healthy sex life can provide a long and healthy and more pleasant life, most will agree with that. But many are missing out on this very main pleasure.
Causes of Erectile Dysfunction: Drugs & Addiction
11 Drugs That Could Cause a Low Libido
Often the low libido is related to your lifestyle and that includes all the medications you are taking. Many medications can interfere with your sexual desire, including the 11 that I will show you later. Considering the widespread use of many of these, it is likely that the use of medications is the main cause of decreased libido in both men and women.
If you are taking one of these and have experienced a decline in your libido, talk to a natural health professional about drug-free alternatives. Many of the following medications are used for conditions that would be best treated with non-drug methods.
1. Antidepressants – Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor (SSRI)
Sexual dysfunction is a frequent side effect of antidepressants, including SSRIs (Prozac, Zoloft, etc.) that are often used as an option for the first-line treatment of depression. According to a report published in the Journal of Psychiatry and Neuroscience:
“Sexual dysfunction occurs through various brain pathways that involve increases in serotonin (5-HT), decreased dopamine (DA) and inhibition of nitric oxide synthetase, and increases in cortico-limbic 5-HT cause decreased sexual desire, ejaculation and orgasm.
Consequently, it is not surprising that sexual dysfunction induced by the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) occurs in 30% -80% of patients and is a major cause of treatment discontinuation. “
2. Tricyclic antidepressants
The use of tricyclic antidepressants is much less widespread than the more recent SSRIs, but they are still prescribed for depression and nerve pain. Like SSRIs, tricyclic antidepressants are also associated with a decrease in libido.
3. Contraceptive Pills
About 15 percent of women who take oral contraceptives report a decrease in libido, probably because they lower levels of sex hormones, including testosterone. One study also found seven times the amount of sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG) that affects libido, present in women who took oral contraceptives compared to women who never took a pill.
Although SHBG levels decreased in women who had stopped taking the pill, they were still three to four times higher than women without a history of oral contraceptive use, suggesting that long-term oral contraceptives can kill a woman’s libido. The researchers concluded:
“Metabolic, sexual and mental long-term health may be a consequence of the chronic elevation of SHBG [in women who take or have taken oral contraceptives.”
Proscar belongs to a class of medications called 5-alpha-reductase inhibitors, which are used to treat an enlarged prostate. The prostate contains an enzyme called 5-alpha reductase, which converts the male hormone testosterone to another called androgen dihydrotestosterone (DHT). This class of drugs inhibits 5-alpha-reductase, thereby blocking the conversion of testosterone DHT.
As a result, they can actually help you lower your prostate, but it is accompanied by significant risks, one of which is a lower libido due to low testosterone.
5. Medications for the Calvice “Propecia”
Propecia is a drug very similar to Proscar, but typically used in a low dose to prevent hair loss in men. The drug works by reducing DHT, the most potent male hormone that is linked to hair loss, by blocking the enzyme 5-alpha reductase. Not only has it been related to a decrease in interest in sex, but also to make it impotent permanently.
BBC News followed a story of a 26-year-old boy who took Propecia for male baldness. He stopped taking the medication when he noticed a decrease in interest in sex and then a couple of weeks later he became impotent. Even after six months of testosterone therapy your sexual health had not been restored and your doctor suggests a penile implant as a solution. Many men have discovered that sexual side effects do not go away once the medication is stopped.
Antihistamines, particularly Benadryl and Chlorotrimeton, are also linked to a temporary loss of libido. Once the medication is removed from your body your sexual desire should return to normal, but if you take these medications frequently, for example, for the treatment of allergies, it could represent a long-term problem in your sex life.
7. Medical Marijuana
Medical marijuana is legal in 20 states, where it is commonly used to treat pain, nausea, and other conditions. It could decrease your libido and the ability to please your partner.
8. Anticonvulsant medications
Carbamazepine (Tegretol) is commonly used to prevent seizures, which it does by preventing impulses from traveling along nerve cells. Because it decreases nerve impulses, it can also reduce the pleasurable sensations derived from sexual contact. Decreased sexual desire is common among Tegretol users. For example, one study found that men with epilepsy who take carbamazepine had changes in hormone levels, damaged semen quality, increased erectile dysfunction and less frequent intercourse.
The widely prescribed opioid analgesics such as (Vicodin, OxyContin, Percocet, etc.) have been controversial because of their addictive potential, but also because of the lower levels of testosterone, which in turn can decrease their libido.
10. Beta Blockers
Tens of millions of people in the United States take beta blockers to lower their blood pressure and these medications can also decrease libido. Even eye drops that contain the beta-blocker timolol (for the treatment of glaucoma) can affect your sexual desire. In the vast majority of cases, medications are not necessary to reverse hypertension.
There is evidence to suggest that anti-anxiety medications such as Xanax negatively affect sexual functioning, including lesser sexual desire.
There are better ways to treat low libido than to take a pill
If you are taking any of the above medications, you may be tempted to add another one to your regimen to treat your low libido or ignore it altogether and take a medication to treat erectile dysfunction (ED) (ie Viagra). For starters, Viagra does not do anything directly to improve your libido or the fact that many cases of erectile dysfunction are undoubtedly based on your emotions. The brain and nervous system control the sexual and genital glands, and that is why they also control their sexual desire, as well as orgasms.
There are many similarities between men and women in terms of desire; Contrary to popular belief, for example, visual images trigger sexual desire in both sexes. Similarly, anxiety, defensiveness, fear and lack of communication are the destructive psychological forces that can affect your libido, in both sexes, as they act as obstacles to desire. In case you are wondering, Viagra possesses a great risk of potentially serious side effects, including:
|Headache||Stomach upset||Redness of the face|
|Green and blue color blindness||Blurry vision||Eyes sensitive to light|
|Sudden loss or loss of vision in one or both eyes||Abnormally lasting erection that could cause permanent damage to the penis||Sudden loss or loss of hearing, or sometimes an annoying sound in the ear|
|People who take Viagra have experienced cardiac arrest, stroke, irregular heartbeat, and death|
A Natural Alternative for Sexual Dysfunction
As for natural alternatives, there are many options to consider including L-arginine, an amino acid that is the precursor of nitric oxide , a natural compound that helps relax blood vessels. Nitric oxide tells smooth muscle cells in blood vessels to relax, so that their vessels dilate and blood flows more freely. This helps the arteries regain their elasticity and remain plaque-free. L-arginine can also lead to an increase in microcirculation in the genital tissues, which causes stronger erections and better sexual responsiveness, through this mechanism of nitric oxide.
In fact, this is how one of the main drugs to treat erectile dysfunction works – it increases the production of nitric oxide, relaxing the blood vessels, which increases the blood flow of the penis. However, the price you could pay for these erectile dysfunction medications is a series of potentially dangerous side effects, including lowering blood pressure too much . L-arginine increases the action of nitric oxide – similar to drugs for erectile dysfunction, but without the side effects.
Scientific studies have shown that L-arginine can be particularly effective when used in combination with another natural agent, pycnogenol , which caused a significant improvement in sexual function in men with erectile dysfunction, according to a Bulgarian study. Similarly, a pilot study published in the journal European Urology found that six grams of L-arginine combined with six mg of yohimbine, a compound found in yohimbe herb, was successful in treating men with erectile dysfunction.
Strategies to Improve Sexual Desire
The above natural protocol can help with erectile dysfunction, but if you want to increase your libido, a larger program is recommended. To begin, make sure your hormone levels (testosterone and human growth hormone (HGH)) are balanced and optimized. I have already mentioned many strategies to optimize these hormones, including high-intensity exercise. When it comes to an exercise plan that will complement the function and production of testosterone (along with general health), I recommend that you include both high-intensity interval training and strength training.
Another effective strategy to improve both testosterone and HGH release is intermittent fasting. Intermittent fasting helps increase testosterone by improving the expression of satiety hormones, such as insulin, leptin, adiponectin, glucagon-like peptide type 1, cholecystokinin (CKK), and melanocortins, which are linked to healthy testosterone function, increased libido and prevention of testosterone-induced decline in age. Vitamin D also increases testosterone levels, which can increase libido. In one study, overweight men who received vitamin D supplements had a significant increase in testosterone levels after one year.
8 Steps to a Healthy Sexual Life (for Men and Women)
If you are engaged in a relationship and are not satisfied with your sex life, chances are that your lifestyle is causing this. To increase your libido naturally and help restore harmony to your intimate life, use the following strategies:
- Reduce in order to eliminate grains and sugars from your diet. It is vital to eliminate sugars, especially fructose. High blood sugar levels can actually turn off the gene that controls sex hormones.
- Take a healthy diet, such as the one included in my nutrition plan, which will help normalize insulin levels. This simple measure has an incredible influence on all areas of your health, including your sex life.
- Optimize your vitamin D levels, preferably through adequate sun exposure, as this will allow your body to also create vitamin D sulfate – a factor that can play a crucial role in preventing the formation of arterial plaque that is linked to erectile dysfunction.
- Exercise regularly Be sure to incorporate exercises at high intensity intervals, since they also optimize the production of human growth hormone (HGH).
- Avoid smoking or drinking alcohol excessively.
- Make sure you get enough sleep.
- Consider choline supplements and vitamin B5. The neurotransmitter that triggers the sexual message, both in men and women, is acetylcholine (ACH). With very little ACH, sexual activity decreases. A safe and effective way to improve the levels of ACH in your body is by taking supplements of choline (1,000-3,000 mg) and vitamin B5 (500-1,500 mg).
- Stress can also decrease your libido and make sex the last priority (but sex will help you significantly reduce your stress levels). Take control of your emotions, learning the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) can actually help you in this area to rekindle your sex life. EFT is a psychological acupressure technique that can help you effectively solve your thoughts related to stress and make you feel calm and more able to face your challenges, of all kinds, so that you can focus on more pleasant activities.