Which Drugs Can Cause Low Testosterone?

Low testosterone, or low T, affects one in four men, beginning around age 30. In addition to a decreased sex drive and erectile dysfunction, low T can cause fatigue, depression, inability to concentrate, and other cognitive problems. Physically, if you suffer from testosterone imbalance, you may notice hair loss, weight gain and brittle bones.

The cause of low testosterone levels can be related to physical debilitation, or in many cases, prescription and non-prescription drugs. Prescription and street drugs are among the most common reasons that low testosterone is so prevalent today.
For all the good they do, many prescription drugs interfere with your body’s testosterone production, leading to short-, and long-term effects.

Prescription Medications
Through the wonder of science, there are now medications which can lower cholesterol and blood pressure, control type 2 diabetes, prevent heart attacks, and control pain. For those suffering from anxiety and depression, there are meds to help you go about your normal day without debilitating feelings taking over. Unfortunately, many of these drugs can also cause low T.

Prescription drugs that have the greatest impact on your testosterone levels are:

Statins
Because cholesterol is a necessary component of the sex hormones, lowering your cholesterol levels through the use of statins can cause lowered levels of testosterone, the primary sex hormone in males. As it’s necessary to maintain healthy levels of testosterone in order to keep your cardiovascular system in good working order, you need to take care not to let your testosterone levels become too low.

Beta-Blockers and Hypertension Medications
Some prescription beta blockers and those that reduce blood pressure through diuretics can reduce the amount of testosterone in your body. There are many other prescription drugs available that offer the same heart-saving protection without causing low T.

Opioids
For pain, there’s no more successful pharmaceutical relief than opioids. As a cough suppressant, or for recovery from surgery, injury, or chronic pain, opioids are often the prescription of choice for doctors, and patients alike. Relief is not without consequences, however. For men taking long-acting opioids – meaning those taken every eight to 12 hours – the risk of developing low T is 5 times that of men who take their opioid pain meds every four hours. Even the short-term opioids can lower testosterone levels significantly

Antidepressants and Anti-Anxiety Medications
Many prescription drugs used to control anxiety and depression will lower your testosterone. There are some which your doctor can prescribe that will have far less of an impact on your hormone levels. If you suspect your antidepressant or anti-anxiety medication is interfering with your testosterone levels, ask your physician if there is an alternative available.

Illicit Drugs and Alcohol
Abusing drugs and alcohol has many devastating effects on the body. Binge-drinking, frequent excessive drinking, and many street drugs will lower your testosterone, along with causing many other health problems. If you find drug or alcohol use has become excessive, seek help. For those who use street drugs and recreational drugs, understand that these, too, will cause a diminution of your testosterone levels.

Turtle Creek Medical Center
At Turtle Creek Medical Center, we know that hormone fluctuations are a normal part of the aging process, as well as a side effect of many medications. If you suspect you suffer from low T, either as a result of illness, age, or directly related to the drugs you take, please schedule a consultation with us. There are ways to restore your lowered testosterone levels, allowing you to regain your stamina, vigor, and sex drive.