Taking chronic pain meds can lower testosterone in men

chronic pain meds can lower testosterone

Low testosterone can have very nasty effects in men, not just on sex drive, but also decreased muscle mass and bone density. Low levels can affects mood and quality of life.

A study at  the Santa Rosa Medical Center compared the use of short acting and long acting opioids medication for chronic pain in men. It involved 81 men who had been on a stable dose of opioid pain killers for at least 3 months.

Short acting opioids are taken every 4 to 6 hours, while long acting ones are taken every 8 to 12 hours and are slow release.

The researchers found:

  • 74% of those on long acting opioids had low testosterone.
  • 34% of men on short acting opioids had low testosterone
  • the dose was not a factor in testosterone levels only the type

Doctors have in the past prescribed long acting medication because they believed they were safer, but no studies have supported this.

Can see the ScienceDaily article here:

Men taking long-acting chronic pain meds five times more likely to have low testosterone levels


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