Top 6 Medications that Can Kill Your Libido

Mar 12, 2009


While antidepressants are supposed to make you feel happier, they often are the most frequent cause of low sex drive for men and women. Selective serotonin-reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) like Paxil, Zoloft and Prozac are often prescribed for treatment of depression, but they also can undermine your sexual desire and delay or make it difficult for you to achieve orgasm.

Almost one in six people report about sex problems, such as low sex drive, while taking SSRIs. Men seem to more affected by SSRI antidepressants. Most of them report about erectile dysfunction and decline in sex desire. These antidepressants act by changing the levels of certain chemicals in the brain, like increasing the level of serotonin, which in its turn may negatively affect your sex drive.

If you are taking antidepressants and noticed decrease in sex drive, your doctor may suggest you switching to another class of antidepressants like Wellbutrin (bupropion) or other non-SSRI medications .


The group of opioids medications are known to ease severe pain, but they also can affect your sex drive. This happens due to the fact that these medications lower the production of some hormones, including testosterone, which is responsible for your libido. The study, published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, showed that almost 95 percent of men and 68 percent of women reported about decreased sex drive.

Interesting enough, another study showed that such common painkillers as aspirin can also be a cause of low sex drive. The research conducted on rats showed that male rats exposed to indomethacin in the womb were likely to have low sex drive as adults.
If you think that your painkillers are the cause of your low sex drive, you may need to talk to your doctor to suggest other methods of pain relief.

Blood pressure medications

In spite the fact that high blood pressure can become a source for sexual problems, antihypertensive prescribed for lowering blood pressure can also have a negative impact on sex drive. Most common medications that are known to dampen your libido are diuretics and beta-blockers. These drugs may also increase the risk of developing erectile dysfunction as well as delayed ejaculation for men.

Women, taking blood pressure drugs, can have another sex problem lack of vaginal lubrication.

You can ask your doctor to switch to ACE inhibitors, channel blockers and alpha-blockers that have lower risk of developing sex problems such as diminished sex drive.

Hormonal contraceptives

A number of birth control methods, including birth control pills and hormonal patches can be a cause of low sex drive. Hormonal contraceptives increase the level of SHBG (sex-hormone-binding globulin) and this in its turn lowers the level of androgens, such as testosterone that fuels your libido. The study conducted at Boston University also revealed that birth control pills can even affect your sex drive after you discontinue taking the pills. According to the results of the study, the level of SHBG remained quite high four months after women stopped taking the birth control pills. Fortunately, not all women will be affected by sex-related adverse effects of birth control pills. Women concerned about low sex drive may need to switch to other birth control pills or choose another method of contraception.


Such common drugs as antihistamines which are used for treatment of allergies may impact your sex drive negatively. According to the Cleveland Clinic, the use of antihistamines medications such as over the counter Benadryl and Chlor-Trimaton may lead to problems with ejaculation for men as well as inhibiting sexual desire in both men and women. They affect the part of nervous system that is connected with sexual arousal and orgasm and may also cause vaginal dryness that is closely related to female sexual arousal.

Cholesterol medications

Medications such as fibrates and statins are used for lowering the level of cholesterol. Since the cholesterol is involved in production of sex hormones, including testosterone, progesterone and estrogen, cholesterol lowering medications in some cases can affect sex drive. However, scientists claim that the risk of low sex drive due to these medications is quite low. It is considered that fibrates are more likely to cause sex problems such as lack of sexual desire and erectile dysfunction than statins.