Libido is defined as sexual desire, and low levels of testosterone can drastically diminish ones desire to perform sexually, as well as the ability to obtain a satisfactory erection. Patients who are though to have poor libido should undergo hormonal testing such as serum testosterone and possibly prolactin levels. Testosterone deficiency can easily be reversed with the use of testosterone replacement therapies which are available in a rub-on gel, a patch, or an injectable form.
Elevated serum prolactin levels (hyperprolactinemia) may be associated with a more severe underlying condition such as a tumor of the pituitary gland which is located in the brain. Many drugs can also cause elevation of the serum prolactin level and a complete drug history must be provided by the patient. An elevation of prolactin indirectly leads to a decreased level of testosterone by causing a decrease in levels of hormones produced in the testicle (LH and FSH).
Erectile failure can be caused by numerous drugs that are commonly used. The anti-hypertensive category of medications is the most common offender. By lowering the blood pressure, blood may not flow with enough pressure head to fill the penile blood vessels, thus resulting in ED. Numerous other drugs are also associated with ED. Psychiatric medications such as anti-psychotics and anti-depressants are commonly associated with ED.
Some commonly used medications (cimetidine) have also implicated with ED, with the mechanism being an anti-androgen (anti-testosterone) effect. Some patients who are using drugs that are potential offending agents should have a trial of the withdrawal of these agents. The effect of most of these drugs are short lived and if alternative agents are substituted, in many cases the ED can be cured.
Published On: August 01, 2006