Statins may lower testosterone and libido

Recommended by Dr. Michael White, Updated on November 24th, 2020
Reading Time: 2 minutes

Q. I recently turned 50. Ive been taking Livalo for high cholesterol and have been experiencing symptoms like no sexual desire. In addition, I cant sleep through the night, feel totally exhausted and have missed several days of work.

My doctor prescribed AndroGel to treat low testosterone levels. Could Livalo be causing all my problems?

A. There is evidence that statin-type cholesterol-lowering drugs reduce testosterone levels (BMC Medicine, Feb. 28, 2013).

That means that drugs like pitavastatin (Livalo), atorvastatin (Lipitor) and simvastatin (Zocor) may lower this important hormone, which could have an impact on libido and sexual performance (Journal of Sexual Medicine, April 2010).

The Food and Drug Administration recently issued a warning against the use of testosterone unless men have hypogonadism, a condition that lowers this hormone. The agency is concerned that prescribed testosterone may increase the risk for heart attacks and strokes, precisely what you are trying to avoid with Livalo.

You might be able to overcome the statin side effects of fatigue, low libido and insomnia by using a different approach to lowering cholesterol.

Q. I suffer from a terribly dry nose, especially at night. My dermatologist said to put petroleum jelly in my nose before bed, but my asthma doctor says not to use it. He recommended saline spray instead. Whos right?

A. We side with your asthma doctor. The label on Vicks VapoRub (which contains petrolatum or petroleum jelly) is clear: Do not use in nostrils.

Pulmonologists are concerned that petroleum jelly may end up in the lungs and cause irritation or chemical pneumonia. We think a saline spray that you could keep on your nightstand is a safer bet.

Q. I have been on Prilosec the past 10 years. I was recently diagnosed with C. diff and decided, after doing some research, that I should stop the Prilosec.

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Statins may lower testosterone and libido

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