Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Many Drugs Can Affect the Desire for Sex

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Many Drugs Can Affect the Desire for Sex

Article excerpt

Q. My husband and I have been married 26 years. For most of that time we have had a very close and affectionate relationship. But in the last six months or so we have experienced some difficulties with sex.

When I started hormone replacement therapy to relieve symptoms of menopause the drugs took away the hot flashes like magic but my libido disappeared as well.

My husband has also had trouble. He was recently switched to Calan and Dyazide for high blood pressure. Now he complains that intercourse is more complicated. Between my hormones and his blood pressure medicines we are beginning to feel like old fogies even though we are only in our 40s. It's embarrassing to talk about these things with the doctor, but we wonder if our medicines are responsible for this change.

A. The impact of drugs on female sexuality has not been very well studied. Dr. Theresa Crenshaw, who has a private practice in San Diego, the leading expert in this field, tells us that progesterone, which is often added to estrogen hormone therapy, can have a negative impact on sex drive.

A number of popular blood pressure medicines may also affect a man's ability to achieve an erection. We are sending you our guide to Drugs That Affect Sexuality, which also discusses some alternate blood pressure medicines less likely to cause trouble. Anyone who would like a copy, please send $2 with a long (No. 10) stamped, self-addressed envelope to Graedons' People's Pharmacy, No. Y-51, P.O. Box 52027, Durham, NC 27717-2027.

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Q. I have heard that taking aspirin regularly can help prevent heart attacks. I can't take aspirin because I have hearing loss that aspirin might make worse. But I use Motrin IB or Tylenol for headaches occasionally. Will either of these protect my heart like aspirin?

A. No. Only aspirin has been shown to reduce the risk of heart attacks and strokes. …

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