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Medicines That Cause Low Sexual Desire

General Definition

There are several drugs and medications that may contribute to low sexual desire. Many medications, even the most common, can adversely affect sexual response. Some of the most common are:

Anticancer drugs: Tamoxifen, prescribed to delay the recurrence of breast cancer can cause vaginal bleeding, vaginal discharge, menstrual irregularities, genital itching and depression.

Anticonvulsants: Anti-seizure drugs including phenobarbital (Luminal) as well as Dilantin, Mysloine, and Tegretol can cause sexual dysfunction.

Antidepressants: Tricyclic antidepressants like clomipramine (Anafranil) and some selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI) such as Prozac, and Paxil are known to cause sexual dysfunction.

Antihypertensive agents: Traditional medications prescribed for high blood pressure; beta-blockers marketed under the names Inderal, Lopressor, Corgard, Blocadren, and Tenormin.

Anti-ulcer drugs: Cimetidine or Tagament have been shown to cause impotence in men. We do not know the sexual side effect in women as yet.

Birth control pills: Some women who take progestin-dominant pills complain of a loss of libido and vaginal dryness because of hormonal shifts.

Neuroleptics: Antipsychotic drugs like Thorazine, Haldol and Zyprexa can cause sexual dysfunction and emotional blunting in some patients.

Sedatives: Medications like Xanax, prescribed for anxiety, can cause loss of desire and arousal.

What Can You Do?

Talk to your doctor. Not only may there be alternatives to the medications you are taking, but you may be a candidate for another medical treatment that will counteract the negative sexual side effects you are experiencing. For instance, several studies have indicated that Viagra seems to counteract the negative sexual side effects of SSRI's. However, it is crucial to realize that while it is important to know how your medications may be playing a role in your sexual function complaints, it is important NOT to stop any medication without talking to your doctor first.

APA Reference
Writer, H. (2002, January 1). Medicines That Cause Low Sexual Desire, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2019, August 19 from https://www.healthyplace.com/sex/female-sexual-dysfunction/pharmacological-causes-for-low-sexual-desire

Last Updated: June 25, 2019

Medically reviewed by Harry Croft, MD

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