Magazine article Clinical Psychiatry News

Opioids Tied to Male Sexual Problems, Depression: Permanent Damage Possible

Magazine article Clinical Psychiatry News

Opioids Tied to Male Sexual Problems, Depression: Permanent Damage Possible

Article excerpt

PHILADELPHIA -- Men with chronic nonmalignant pain who take long-acting opioids are subject to decreased sexual function and depressed mood, Dr. Harry Daniell reported at the annual meeting of the Endocrine Society.

"Long-acting opioids are creating a vicious cycle in many men who take them for chronic pain because the drugs cause a drop in testosterone, which increases pain sensitivity and eventually necessitates a higher dose of the pain medication. At the same time, low testosterone generates another set of symptoms such as low libido, erectile dysfunction, decreased bone density, and hot flashes," said Dr. Daniell, clinical professor of medicine, University of California, Davis.

"The risk of sustained, long-term treatment with opioids is that permanent damage such as osteoporosis or testicular atrophy may result," he added.

Until now, much of the literature on opioid-induced androgen deficiency has focused on men and women in heroin treatment programs, he said. As part of his study evaluating transdermal testosterone patch therapy in men with opioid-induced androgen deficiency, Dr. …

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