Can’t seem to get in the mood? Having trouble performing between the sheets? Or are you simply not feeling “quite yourself” in the bedroom? Before you panic that this is a sign of the end of your sex life, maybe it’s time to have a look at your prescription medication. Many times drugs can interfere with your libido or even your ability to function properly. Here’s a list of some common drugs that can hurt your sex drive.

Prescription Pain Medication

Prescription pain medication has been getting a great deal of media attention lately after the DEA recently moved them from a Schedule 3 classification to the more restrictive Schedule 2. While most of the world is aware of their effectiveness at helping relieve pain, and their nearly equal effectiveness at getting people hooked, not many are aware of what they can do to your sex drive.

Time reported that opioids such as Vicodin, Oxycontin, and Percocet can lower testosterone, which may in turn affect both male and female libido. One study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism found that of 73 men and women receiving spinal infusions of opioids, 95 percent of men and 68 percent of women experienced a drop in sex drive. Although this subject has not been explored to a large enough extent, it’s clear that there is something going on.

Birth Control Pill

The link between the birth control pill and lowered sex drive has not been definitively proven, but there has been evidence to suggest that the pill that is meant to give you “care-free” sex can actually lower your sex drive, in some women at least. Dr. Laura Berman, a sex educator and relationship therapist, told that this is because the pill’s hormones that prevent pregnancy also lower testosterone production and consequently lower sex drive.

Berman also explained that the pill can increase production of SHBG, the sex hormone-binding globulin, which also may subsequently reduce a woman’s testosterone levels. Usually, this is easily resolved by simply switching birth control medication.


The link between antidepressants and lowered sex drive is much more definitive. Dr. Chad Collom, a doctor of nursing practice and board-certified family psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner in Dallas, explained to Fox News that this association is due to the way that many antidepressants interact with the human brain.

“SSRIs stimulate certain serotonin receptors that can cause a decrease in dopamine and norepinephrine in an area of the brain, which can have an effect on libido,” Collom said. A report in the Journal of Psychiatry & Neuroscience found that between 30 percent to 80 percent of patients experienced sexual inhibitions when taking selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs).

Blood Pressure Medication

Blood pressure problems can lead sexual dysfunction, but studies have shown that medicines prescribed to counteract high blood pressure are no more help for troubles down below. Blood pressure medication is used to lower blood pressure, but as reported by AARP, this lowering of blood pressure can interfere with erections and ejaculations in males and cause vaginal dryness, decrease libido, and interfere with orgasms in women.

Beta-blockers have been found to have the most profound sexual side effects. They may interfere with nerve impulses associated with arousal and reduce testosterone levels. Diuretics used to control blood pressure are also linked to erection difficulties due to their tendency to block blood flow to the penis.

Anti-Seizure Drugs

Anti-seizure drugs, also known as anticonvulsants, are commonly used to prevent seizures. For those prescribed these drugs, the medication is a life-saver, as it works to prevent impulses from traveling along nerve cells and thus reducing the chances of experiencing a life-threatening seizure.

However, because the drug interferes with nerve impulses, it can also reduce an individual’s ability to feel pleasure. One study found that men who took the anti-seizure medication carbamazepine experienced not only increased difficultly obtaining an erection and lowered sex drive, but the drug also caused a significant change in semen quality.