narcotic meds and libido?

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Date Joined Mar 2011
Total Posts : 816
   Posted 4/22/2011 9:03 AM (GMT -6)   
once again i am so glad to have found this site, questions i have never asked my doctors i know can be asked here. anyway this wil not be graphic at all, my question is has anyone else experienced this, about. i have been celibate for 11 yrs. for various reasons, one being after being on a steady dose of narc. meds, i think i started noticing this about 1999-2000,  i had no desire to be intimate with my partner, it seems as the meds numb the pain they also numb many other things. anyone else experience this problem. by the way the other reason was personal, i had and probably still have the worse taste in men, since i had no desire to be intimate with anyone i saw no reason to continue on that path of self destruction choosing the wrong person again and again. so anyone else have to deal with this problem.  please im am not interested in anyone graphic experiences, just general answers. thanks everyone have a very low pain day.
degenerative disc disease, fibromyalgia, osteoarthritis, neuropathy, lumbar laminectomy july 1998 no help, rechargeable neurostimulator unit low right back w/lead wires to left side and right leg unit not working just sitting there.i am 57 years young in may will turn 58. i have 2 grown daughters, 25 and 29. i have 2 grandchildren, 9 year old grandaughter and 5 yr. old grandson

Screaming Eagle
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   Posted 4/23/2011 1:59 PM (GMT -6)   
Hello NiNi53!

Yes!...this subject has been covered before, and as a male I can tell you that I know of several men that it has affected in this way. I too found that when I switched to Oxycontin, I was affected.

The first thing I did was seek out professional care from my PCD. He ran a blood work to see if those test were normal, and they were. It was not long, that my body adjusted on its own, and all became normal again.

It can be very frustrating, especially of your partner is fairly active. I'm 55yrs old now, but my wife is in her early 40's and I felt somewhat guilty about this problem. So I sought out care for it.

There is certainly nothing to be ashamed of so don't be. While intimacy is not needed for a healthy marriage, I would say the lack of, could cause a problem for one or the other partner.

It sounds like you need to discuss this with your Dr, and I'm sure they can run some test to make sure the pain med's are indeed at fault here. If this is the case, there may be a chance that they can change the type of med you are taking. As for myself, the Percocet, never caused a problem, but as soon as I started the Oxycontin, it was down hill from there.

Hopefully more members will step forward and share their experience on this issue. We must also recognize that we have many singles and widows here, but I cannot answer for them. All I do know is that a marriage can survive without this particular function, and many do.

Good Luck to you,

"The clock is running. Make the most of today. Time waits for no man. Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift. That's why it is called the present."

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Date Joined Jan 2011
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   Posted 4/23/2011 3:27 PM (GMT -6)   
I would love to say its all the narcotics fault but some is some is fibro pain and of course for me menopause could not have kicked in at a better time (grrrr).
Take care

Insulin Dependant Diabetic, Fibromyalgia, Gerd, IBS, Sleep Apnea, COPD, Spondylolistesis, Diabetic Neuropathy, Fatty Liver, High Cholesterol

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Date Joined Sep 2006
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   Posted 4/23/2011 4:37 PM (GMT -6)   
I will share, in hopes of helping you.
I am a 59 yr old female and I have noticed that the percocet that I take 4 times a day has affected my libido as well. I noticed it ten years ago.  Unfortunately, for me, no other pain med has helped me (and I have tried many many).  The percocet helps the pain, so I continue to take it.
Hope that helps.
Co-Moderator Chronic Pain and Fibromyalgia Forums
Believe in yourself.  Be kind to fellow humans and animals.  Take time to smell the flowers and the coffee.
And by all means, when you are down, ask me for help.  I will be there.

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Date Joined Jul 2009
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   Posted 4/23/2011 5:20 PM (GMT -6)   
Unfortunately a decreased sex drive is not at all uncommon in people taking narcotic medication. There are also quite a few other medications that do this too, not to mention many conditions as well.

When you stop and think about all the things that can effect one's libido it makes it seem that our drive is housed in a cage made of broken egg shells.
2 confirmed herniated lumbar discs. Spinal Arthritis. Spinal Stenosis, diabetic peripheral nueropathy.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2011
Total Posts : 816
   Posted 4/23/2011 8:09 PM (GMT -6)   
thank everyone so much for responding, after i wrote it and sent it i realized the last words i had written sounded harsh i am so sorry for that, just didnt want anyone to think i was some freakey pervert. SE i am so glad to have a male perspective on things. grandmaroses, having been through menopause i feel ya sister. talk about misery i am sure that had apart in everything also. so thanks one and all, have a lovely easter (my personal favorite part about easter is eating chocolate quilt free for one day) also very low pain wishes to all.
degenerative disc disease, fibromyalgia, osteoarthritis, neuropathy, lumbar laminectomy july 1998 no help, rechargeable neurostimulator unit low right back w/lead wires to left side and right leg unit not working just sitting there.i am 57 years young in may will turn 58. i have 2 grown daughters, 25 and 29. i have 2 grandchildren, 9 year old grandaughter and 5 yr. old grandson

Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2009
Total Posts : 856
   Posted 4/24/2011 10:27 AM (GMT -6)   
Yes. It has affected my libido as well. I have read that narcotics will do this to some people.

Editing to add: Like I just said, the medications, in my opinion have definitely affected it, but a great deal of why it has also gone down is because of the pain.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2011
Total Posts : 816
   Posted 4/24/2011 11:09 AM (GMT -6)   
i am replying to my own post to say that everyone of us are so much more affected by so many different things, its true the cause of the pain is probably just as much to blame as the so called "cure". because there is no real cure its about making every day as pain free as possible.  so many others things get set to the side due to the constant battle with our bodies to make us be able to function in everyday life.  everyone have a blessed day and a very low pain day. i dont know everyone out there and am going to continue to reach out to all, because we all have one very awful thing in common.
degenerative disc disease, fibromyalgia, osteoarthritis, neuropathy, lumbar laminectomy july 1998 no help, rechargeable neurostimulator unit low right back w/lead wires to left side and right leg unit not working just sitting there.i am 57 years young in may will turn 58. i have 2 grown daughters, 25 and 29. i have 2 grandchildren, 9 year old grandaughter and 5 yr. old grandson

Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2011
Total Posts : 230
   Posted 4/24/2011 12:41 PM (GMT -6)   
Thought I'd add a belated two cents worth.
I have learned through the years that many things affect libido. While none of the medication I have taken (Vicoden, Loritab, Oxycodone) have never affected my drive, I have found other things that do. Extreme pain, Depression, are at the top of that list. The days I don't feel "pretty", no ammount of verbal flattery can shake that feeling, and frequently my depression steps in to sabotage attemps from those in my life.
Currently not having trust in my boyfriend has led to a serious decrease in any sort of affection, even hugs. The fact that he does not seem motivated to make ammends does not help.
Also I've found when my pain flares bad I don't want anything but for the hurting to stop. The pain gets so bad I can't block it in any way, even with meds. I'll get my back rubbed, and gently held (avoiding my arm due to extreme sensitivity) but otherwise that's about it.
Things that help are talking to your doctor about what's going on. If you're post menapusal perhaps hormone replacement therapy. I'm perio-menapausel, but part of that is due to the daily birth control I take to regulate my hormones down. You see, I'm allergic to elevated levels of estrogen. Yes, I'm allergic to being a girl. Also you can do a little research to discover other ways to help bolster your libedo levels.
Also having an understanding partner helps. Someone who will take the time that your body needs to help awaken it. The act is supposed to be gentle and sharing, something enjoyable. And of course there are ways to be close without haveing to complete the act.
I was raised in an open house, where this topic was not taboo, and I have no quams with discussing it with any who have questions. I believe in being comfortable in my skin and who and what I am. I may not be content with my current condition (CRPS) and I may wish that the packaging were about 10 pounds lighter (darned winter weight!) but it does not change the fact that knowledge is something to be shared, not hoarded. And if the stuff in my head can help someone else, then by all means, feel free to ask me anything.
Originally injured 10/26/2007 - Initial diagnosis; Tendonitis
Have seen several specialists; Bone, Muscle, Hand, Neurologist, Chriopractor, Physical Therapist...
Went through a battery of tests, multiple MRI's
11/16/09 finally diagnosed CRPS - Stage 2
Permanently disabled, on Oxycodone and Celexa.
February 2011 successful SCSU trial
May 2011 SCSU implant surgery

Screaming Eagle
Veteran Member

Date Joined Sep 2009
Total Posts : 5005
   Posted 4/24/2011 1:40 PM (GMT -6)   
This has been a good topic and is pretty dear to many a members here.

NiNi53, I wanted to make sure to follow up with my other answer to your other post. You can always do a search here on the CP forum page and type in the topic you are interested in.

At the top righthand of the page you will see the buttons "Home" "Calendar" "Chat" and then "Search" the "Search" button and you are free to search any topic you wish.

So, with that in mind you can search the narcotic libido subject and see what has been posted about it in the past here on HW.

I use this feature quite a bit myself and it comes in pretty handy, and think you too, will find this to be very helpful. You may find that many of the replies are quite extensive and still offer excellent advice on the topic of you're own personal choice.

Hope this helps!

Good Luck!

SE wink
"The clock is running. Make the most of today. Time waits for no man. Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift. That's why it is called the present."

Post Edited (Screaming Eagle) : 4/24/2011 1:21:04 PM (GMT-6)

Mrs. Dani
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Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 2787
   Posted 4/24/2011 2:14 PM (GMT -6)   
   Dear NiNi,
    I have many useful link on my other computer. I will post it later today or just mail to you.
    I do not have decreased sexual fulfillment desires from my various pain medications. Narcotic, muscle relaxant, tricyclic, Nsaid. I do however have a very hard time the last 4 months with the .. "mechanics" if you will. As my body becomes more disfigured and deformed it is increasingly difficult, physically, to position my body. My hip is rotated up and to the rear of my body, into the bottom of my ribs. My left his is being crushed. So... positioning, pain, emotional discomfort due to the severity of my disfigurement are all very hard hurdles. It would be a good idea to bring it up with your doctor. There might be some way that he/she can help?
    I hope you have a relaxing day  :-)
p.s. Sorry about poor typing. My daughter has an oddly shaped key board and I am a terrible speller  :-)
TWO roads diverged in a yellow wood
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood

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Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 553
   Posted 4/24/2011 10:10 PM (GMT -6)   
I struggle with the libido thing as well. Probably not as much from my pain meds, but from my antidepressants and mood stabilizer. Pain has not helped one little bit, though. The thing is, that I was a very, very "active" person before bipolar treatment, and a pretty "active" person before the pain started. I haven't been on good pain meds long enough to know if I will become more "active" when I feel better, but right now, there is no "activity" happening here.
My husband is also bipolar, and on antidepressants and mood stabilizers as well. He is MUCH more controlled than I am. (Neither one of us were Dx when we met and married.) With the meds we both take, if one of us is in the mood to be "active" the other on is not interested. If I have low pain night and my emotions arent getting the best of me, he has a test in the morning, if he feels good, I hurt.
It's a good thing I had all my kids before I got on meds, we never would have been "active" enough for three children, if we were then like we are now.
On the other hand, if we are both not in the mood to be "active", then neither one misses the "activity". Even so, I love my husband very much. Maybe more than I did when we were more "active".
(Just a side note my husband and I met when we were 18 & 19. Married six months to the day after saying hello for the first time. No one thought we would work. Now we are 32 & 33 and seen each other grow up some. Kids, house, jobs, illnesses, lived through it so far and more together than we ever were.)
We are one of those marriages that aren't traumatized by lack of "activity" for a length of time. But were ok with few and far between simply because the libido doesn't care for either one of us. Would I be upset if I was told never? Sure- because I still hold on to some time or another we will match our "activity" desires. When it happens, it happens.
Treatments: gluten-free diet, Cpap
Medications: omeprazole, probiotic caps; multi-vitamin supplement; docusate sodium, fiber chews; zertec, ferrous sulfate, cymbalta, lamotrigine, ambien, alprazolam, plaquinil, sulfasalazine, methotrexate, leucovorin calicium, folic acid, motrin, tramadol, pennsaid, aspercream, nasonex, albuterol sulfate inhaler

Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 175
   Posted 4/25/2011 1:36 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi NiNi53

Just wanted to add my 2 cents worth for what it's worth. Being a male it may be somewhat different but after years of being on high doses of oxycodone and oxycotin I found that things gradually took a turn for the worse. I noticed a posted one day at the doctors office on low testosterone and was tested and sure enough it was low. I am presently taking a supplement now and just have to wait and see how it goes. I agree with others that the mental aspects can be just as much a cause as a physical one. Sorry I can't be of much help but if nothing else you know your not alone. Take care.
Chronic Back Pain, Anxiety, A little Depression
Meds: Oxycodone, Oxycontin, Clonazapam

White Beard
Forum Moderator

Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 3702
   Posted 4/25/2011 10:56 AM (GMT -6)   
This subject has been talked about before, probably many times, I find that each and every time peoples responses are so varried and also enlightening.  For me I do not know if it was the medications that affected me so much as how the pain does. I do know from my experiences Doctors are often very shy to discuss this issue with their patients, even when they are asked. I found more times than what I care to mention ,that when I talked to my doctors about how pain interfered with the act of being intimate,  that I was blown off, and treated like this was not important! Their reactions to my questions clearly showed they were not comfortable with this subject, and either they did not know how to  response to the questions, or they just didn't think the  subject was relevant!  I am not sure which? Maybe both?????
  Your spouses reaction to your pain issues is also extremely important, no one likes to see another person  in pain, especially a loved one.  But desiding to not be intimate with your partner because you do not want to cause him/her pain, is not the necessarily the correct way  to handle the situation either, unless both of you are in complete agreement with that type of situation!!  Although intimacy might not be a necessity in having a successful marriage, it can definitely play a criticial part in destroying a marriage if it is not there!   I know the affect it had on my marriage, and I feel this was definitely  a contributing factor in it's demise.
That is my two cents!
White Beard
Moderator Chronic Pain
After spending nearly 22 1/2 years in the USAF, I retired in Sept, 1991. I then went back to school and became a licensed RN in 1994, and I worked on Oncology and then a Med Surg Unit, I became disabled in late 1999 and was approved SSD in early 2002!-- DDD, With herniated Disk at T-12 and L4-5. C5-C6 ACDF in Sep 2009, C6-C7 ACDF in Mar 1985, Osteoarthritis, Ulcerative colitis, Chronic Pain, Fibromyalgia, Complex Sleep Apnea, and host of other things to spice up my life!(NOT!) Medications:Oxycontin, Percocet, Baclofen, Sulfasalazine, Metoprolol, Folic Acid, Supplemental O2 at 3lpm with VPAP Adapt SV I am White Beard with a White Beard!

Post Edited (White Beard) : 4/25/2011 10:01:23 AM (GMT-6)

Backpain Sara
Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2011
Total Posts : 30
   Posted 4/27/2011 3:51 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi-I find the meds take away my libido and also menopause for me doesn't help at 50 yrs old. I asked my Dr. if she could check my testosterone level and she says it would make no difference. I'm thinking of getting a referral to Gyne Dr. to see what they say but I hear pain meds can suppress your testosterone in women as well as men. Sara
Chronic back and leg pain. Degenerative disc disease for 3 years and unable to work since injuring my back. EMG/nerve test shows peroneal sciatic nerve is being irritated from L4-L5 disc area. Meds-Oxycontin, Cymbalta, lyrica, flexeril,Wellbutrin, Oxazepam for sleep. TX-facet joint, trigger point, nerve block and epidural injections every year x 3 years with temporary relief only. Did PT.

Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2011
Total Posts : 32
   Posted 4/28/2011 6:00 AM (GMT -6)   
I just brought up this same subject to my doctor at my visit last week. She is good. She said YES the meds may effect your libido AND that when your dealing with chronic pain, many times your hormones get messed up too. She referred me to an OB/GYN regarding the matter. Most importantly, it's fixable in most cases.
Aloha & God bless you abundantly!
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