Alert
Close

Think you know AARP? What you don't know about us may surprise you. Discover all the 'Real Possibilities'

HIGHLIGHTS

Open

REAL POSSIBILITIES

AARP Real Possibilities
Car buying made easy with the AARP Auto Buying Program

DRIVER SAFETY

Piggy bank on the road - AARP Driver Safety

Take the new AARP Smart Driver Course!

Contests and
Sweeps

Dream Vacation Sweepstakes

10 weeks. 10 amazing trips. Seize your chance to win!
See official rules. 

CHECK OUT OUR
NEW IPAD APP!

ATM Mobile App for iPhone and Ipad

Enjoy the best of AARP’s award-winning publications

on the go with the new

AARP ePubs iPad App

KEEP BRAIN ACTIVE!

AARP Games - Play Now!

Learning Centers

Get smart strategies for managing health conditions.


Arthritis

Heart Disease

Diabetes

Most Popular

Viewed

Commented

Ask the Pharmacist

7 Meds That Can Wreck Your Sex Life

These types of drugs can cause sexual problems

Dream Vacation Sweepstakes

10 weeks. 10 amazing trips. Seize your chance to win! Official rules.

6. H2 blockers

Why they’re prescribed: H2 blockers, also called H2-receptor antagonists, are used to treat gastrointestinal disorders, including gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), gastric ulcers, peptic ulcers and erosive esophagitis.

How they can cause sexual dysfunction: H2 blockers can cause impotence (as well as breast enlargement in men) when taken at high doses for a long period of time.

Cimetidine (Tagamet) is associated with a wider range of sex-related side effects than other H2 blockers, including ranitidine (Zantac), famotidine (Pepcid) and nizatidine (Axid). Cimetidine’s side effects include decreased libido, reduced sperm count and ED.

Options: If you are taking an H2 blocker for GERD or other reflux problems — and H2 blockers, with the exception of cimetidine, are the treatment of choice for older people — changes in your diet and sleep habits may be helpful. Some of my patients have reported success with the home remedy of apple cider vinegar and honey (one tablespoon of each in a glass of water), taken throughout the day, along with melatonin at bedtime.

7. Anticonvulsants

Why they’re prescribed: Anticonvulsant drugs are typically used to control seizures in people who have epilepsy. They are also used to treat some types of chronic pain, including neuropathic pain and migraines, even though they weren’t designed for that purpose. Anticonvulsants are also increasingly being used “off label” in the treatment of bipolar disorder.

How they can cause sexual dysfunction: Studies have shown that these drugs can lower testosterone levels, which can depress desire and interfere with arousal (erection problems for men, lubrication problems for women). They also can impair the ability to have orgasms.

Options: Some newer anticonvulsants like gabapentin (Neurontin) and topiramate (Topamax) may have fewer side effects than older drugs like carbamazepine (Tegretol) and phenytoin (Dilantin), so ask your doctor or other health care provider if switching medications makes sense for you — and your sex life.

"Ask the Pharmacist" is written by Armon B. Neel Jr., PharmD, CGP, in collaboration with journalist Bill Hogan. They are coauthors of Are Your Prescriptions Killing You?, to be published in July by Atria Books.

  • Join AARP: Savings, resources and news for your well-being.

Remember to go to the AARP home page every day for great deals and for tips on keeping healthy and sharp.

Topic Alerts

You can get weekly email alerts on the topics below. Just click “Follow.”

Manage Alerts

Processing

Please wait...

progress bar, please wait

Video Extra

AARP's David Certner discusses Medicare and fiscal cliff on NBC. Increasing the eligibility age could cost you — and others.

Tell Us WhatYou Think

Please leave your comment below.

Health blog

Discounts & Benefits

bring health To Life-Visual MD

AARP Bookstore

AARP Bookstore - woman reaches for book on bookshelf

VISIT THE HEALTH SECTION

Find titles on brain health, drug alternatives and losing weight. Do