Drugs Which Compromise Male Sexual Health

A great many drugs affect male sexual functions. The standard textbook of clinical pharmacology, Goodman and Gilman's The Pharmacological Basis of Therapeutics, in its first edition, defines a drug as follows: "A drug may be broadly defined as any chemical agent which affects living protoplasm, and few substances would escape inclusion by this definition". In this sense, the definition includes not only drugs used in the treatment of diseases, but also lifestyle drugs and environmental toxins.

Herein, primarily those drugs intended for other diseases, which happen to exert adverse effects on sexual functions, are reviewed. In general, there are sufficient data of pharmacodynamics for most drugs used in medicine, including the concentration at the site and the organ of the adverse effects, and of pharmacokinetics, including the metabolism and possibly effective metabolites, to explain their effects on a cellular and molecular level; however, there are a number of drugs intended for the treatment of sexual dysfunction. For example, drugs which improve erection have been designed to improve sexual health, which is not a severe or life-threatening condition, and treated patients are often otherwise healthy persons. In these drugs, the absence of severe adverse effects, which would compromise their effectiveness, is essential. An exclusion of risks originating also from dose-regimen errors is mandatory for security reasons; thus, also these adverse effects are to be included in the list of drugs which compromise male sexual health.

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