During the last few weeks I have had a few questions about the side effects of anti anxiety medication on male sexual performance. One man told me he has been taking 3 or 4 Valiums for per week for 30 years. Another tells me he takes Lexamil and he has simply lost his libido. I asked Der Apotheker to start tackling the medications. The field of medicines and their effects on male sexual performance is as vast as what there are millions of types of pills, ointments, lotions, potions and dubious snake oils about – I would like to encourage you to ask about your drug in relation to your specific condition if you would like specific information.
In the meantime: Here is Der Apotheker’s first post:
A brief overview on the link between erectile dysfunction and some commonly prescribed drugs that act on the central nervous system.
In life there are few things that we can really be certain of, but as we age and develop the different aspects of our lives, one thing becomes crystal clear: Time, slow and steady as she may be, plays no games, and the affects she has on us, our bodies, and everything else we know, is inevitable.
As aging continues and our bodies degrade in physical and psychological health, certain ailments like erectile dysfunction, prostate problems and other malfunctions start to occur, whether it is from natural causes or from external influences like trauma, stress or physical damage. These, in the end have considerable repercussions that affect our quality of living and even determine how long we live.
Anxiety or Depression?
For now I will be covering two issues that can be a common ‘diseases’ on the rise in the last couple of decades, mainly due to an overload of stress and the constant rise of pressure in several areas of the average human life. These two are depression and anxiety, the latter can be easily confused with depression or vice versa, or they can go hand in hand. To be honest, mental health is a really complicated field. While professionals have created specific diagnostic models for different types of disorders, the truth is many disorders overlap substantially, which makes it quite difficult to distinguish between two distinct issues.
One of the most common issues people have is trying to differentiate between anxiety and depression. While the two have a lot in common, they are separate conditions, the treatment of both can also differ a great deal. That being said; medication issued to treat these disorders have certain effects that can be useful and also be undesirable in many patients, Today I’ll be discussing some of the effects of anti-anxiety medication on male sexual performance. Antidepressants will follow.
Medication used in the treatment of anxiety.
Before I start, it is important to note that Erectile Dysfunction (ED), cannot always be blamed on the use of medication alone. There are several other causes that include the following, but are not limited to:
Different types of surgery (e.g. A prostatectomy or Vasectomy).
Rarer Causes may include:
A Potassium Deficiency
Arsenic Contamination of drinking water or food or any sort of intake. (This cause can be considered as very rare and almost not applicable.)
The medication group that’s the most commonly used for the treatment of an acute anxiety episode is called the Benzodiazepines. Since physiological, psychological dependence and tolerance develops quickly, these drugs are highly addictive and should be used in low doses over short periods of time only. Popular members of this family include the following drugs but are not limited to:
Alprazolam (Xanor®/Xanax®)Bromazepam (Lexotan®/Brazepam®)
The effects these drugs can exert on male sexual performance are vastly different, from severely affecting some men to not affecting others at all. To be clear, erectile dysfunction is a type of sexual dysfunction characterized by the inability to develop or maintain an erection during sexual activity.
Benzodiazepines are favoured in the treatment of acute anxiety states and for rapid control of panic attacks, as their onset of action can be extremely fast and start in as little as three minutes. Duration of action and potency also differs widely between these drugs. Although it is difficult to prove the effectiveness of one drug over that of another.
Alprazolam and Clonazepam have greater efficacy than other benzodiazepines in the longer-term treatment of panic and phobic disorders and can also cause a lot less sedation than other benzodiazepines such as Diazepam and Bromazepam. Other indications of certain benzodiazepines also include:
Insomnia and other sleep disorders. (Bromazepam, Oxazepam, Brotizolam)
Muscle Spasms. (Diazepam)
Anaesthesia. (Diazepam, Midazolam)
Anticonvulsant Actions. (Clonazepam, Clobazam)
Indirect Effects of Anti Anxiety Medications.
It should be noted; benzodiazepines may cause erectile dysfunction – but via indirect mechanisms, not directly influencing the penile system. Indirect mechanisms include the following psychological states of mind that impact on and impair male sexual performance:
Anhedonia. (Inability to feel pleasure)
Apathy. (Lack of interest)
Some or a combination of these symptoms have shown to affect male sexual performance by lowering sexual drive or libido. These drugs may inhibit any form of excitation that is crucial for the initiation of sex or an erection. Naturally, discontinuation of these drugs will or should restore normal sexual performance within a couple of days to weeks, depending on the duration of action of the drug used.However, while these drugs are used, it could be rather difficult to restore normal sexual drive and function.
Please feel free to send questions or comment about your specific condition, medication, effects or side effects…