Recent studies have shed some light on drugs’ effects on testosterone and offer some insights into the many ways current lifestyles are playing in a role in the rapid decline of testosterone levels globally across all age groups.
Whilst many of the below drugs are vital for many men, they are all known to have a side effect of negatively impact testosterone levels as side effect of certain prescription medications.
This will vary from person to person and any men, who may be taking any of the prescription medications listed should categorically not stop taking the medication because of this.
Be sure to check with your GP / DR before making any changes to your medical protocol.
Hormones and mood are closely linked. These medications can cause a shift in hormone levels, specifically testosterone. They can also lower libido / sex drive.
Statins are commonly prescribed to lower cholesterol when levels are elevated. They are also the most prescribed drug in the UK. A function of cholesterol is to make the sex hormones of testosterone, oestrogen, and progesterone. Since cholesterol is a naturally occurring component of sex hormones in males, lowering cholesterol levels with a statin ultimately lowers testosterone levels as well. More research is needed to investigate the full effects statins may have.
Hypertension Most commonly used to control high blood pressure, these meds can lower testosterone levels. Elder men whose levels are dropping naturally due to age, need to pay attention to this if taking this type of meds
Beta Blockers can lower testosterone levels and can also lead to erectile dysfunction.
Pain relievers like morphine, codeine, hydrocodone (Vicodin), and oxycodone. These popular pain meds often prescribed post-surgery, after an injury, for chronic pain, or any other type of serious discomfort can cause lowered testosterone levels, especially when taken long term.
Opioids are classified as short-acting or long-acting. The most common are short-acting release meds quickly and are usually taken every 4-6 hours. Long-acting opioids release medication slowly and are generally taken every eight to twelve hours.
A recent study published in The Clinical Journal of Pain examined the relationship between opioid length of action and low testosterone. In a group of 81 men, 74% of the participants who took long-acting opioids had low testosterone. For men who took short-acting opioids, the rate was 34%.
TRT (TESTOSTERONE REPLACEMENT THERAPY)
Finally, it’s worth noting that TRT replaces your testosterone. It also reduces sperm production, potentially leaving men infertile whilst on it.
In 5% of the cases this is irreversible. The longer you've been taking TRT, the longer it will take your body to adjust back to its normal testosterone levels when you stop which are likely to be lower than when you first started as they decline with age.
It is also important to note that 80% of men on TRT come off after 1 year due to unpleasant side effects.