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Drug Induced Sexual Dysfunction

Decrease in sexual desire and problems in erection, lubrication, ejaculation, orgasm etc. can occur as a result of sexual dysfunction. It has been found that regular use of anti hypertensive, antidepressants, anti-psychotics etc. can lead to sexual dysfunction. Sexual dysfunction induced by alcohol or drug is known by the medical name substance/medication induced sexual dysfunction. Before diagnosing, substance/medication induced sexual dysfunction, doctors used to ascertain whether the dysfunction was there before the use of the drug was started. This knowledge is essential for diagnosing a sexual dysfunction as substance/medication induced sexual dysfunction.

Use of alcohol has been found to effect sexual functions. It has been found that mild use of alcohol increases sexual desire by removing inhibitions about sex. It also helps in delaying orgasm and ejaculation. Persons who are victims of drug abuse testify that they could achieve better performance, but their partners testify the reverse. Lack of desire, lack of lubrication etc are commonly found dysfunctions among women whereas erectile dysfunction and premature ejaculation are some of the common sexual disorders that are found among men due to substance abuse.


Discussing with the patient

Patients who undergo continued medication for longer periods and who suffer sexual disorders are not generally willing to talk to the physician about their problem. If the doctor tries to find out the effect of medication they may think that continuing this medicine will cause problems and they may not adhere to the prescriptions. So it is very important to have a proper discussion with patient and suggest methods which can be beneficial for continuing the medication and avoiding sexual dysfunctions.

Hypertension patients

It has been found that patients who are taking antihypertensive medicines are prone to sexual disorders. 20 % of men undergoing treatment for hypertension are found to have to sexual disorders and this percentage in woman is estimated to be 40 %.

Psychiatric patients

It has been estimated that about 70 % of patients undergoing treatment for depression are also subjected to sexual dysfunction. Roughly about 45 percent of women and 50 % of men with schizophrenia have sexual dysfunction problem. But in their case it is very difficult to find out whether the sexual dysfunction is caused due to the illness or due to the medication for the illness.

Cancer patients

Patients undergoing medication for prostate cancer and breast cancer are generally found to have sexual disorders. Lack of desire and erectile dysfunction are common among men of this category. Vaginal atrophy and orgasmic dysfunction are common among women of this category.

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