Aa
Aa
A
A
A
Close
Avatar universal

Could allergy medication have caused sudden loss of sex drive?

I'm 29, healthy, no health problems, active, been allergic to pollen all my life. Over the past 7 or so weeks I'm on my usual summer regimen of medication, that is fluticasone furoate nasally (2 doses to each nostril, 110mcg total daily) and levocetirizine 5mg nightly. Over the past few weeks, however, I've noticed quite a sudden loss of libido and interest in sex for me. I did not think much of it cause I just did not feel so much need to masturbate as usual but when this coincided with me finding a girlfriend for the first time (I'm still a virgin), I was quite shocked to find that despite three tries, I've been unable to have an erection allowing sex with her. It's very weird for me cause I always had a pretty high sex drive and no problems with getting an erection at all, even a month ago I could get it up basically anytime I wanted while now it takes a longer moment even at home on my own - and as said, is impossible with my GF.

Can either of the drugs be the reason behind this? I know that steroid side effects are less common for nasal ones but still that's the only thing I can tie to such sudden drop in my interest in sex (other than the stress of being in such a new situation like even having a GF, being in love, trying to have sex etc., that is), especially since from what I reckon loss of libido, ED, loss of interest in sex, lower sex drive and even lower testosterone are all possible steroid side effects? I've gone off both meds for 4 days now and I don't really see a difference but maybe that would need more time (if that's the reason in the first place). Can this be a culprit?
3 Responses
Sort by: Helpful Oldest Newest
Avatar universal
First, that's a lot of medication to take for seasonal allergies, unless they're so bad they're debilitating.  Also, seasonal allergies are usually only bad in the spring when everything's just blooming and for some in the fall.  In the middle of summer, only grass pollen is actually out there, and that would only affect you if you work on yards and get close to grass.  Second, it appears you do this every year, though you don't say how long you've been doing it, and so this appears not to ever happened before, but masturbation is a whole different animal than having sex with a partner.  Masturbation presents no pressure to perform and no trepidation about not performing that you might be getting as this is your first sexual relationship with another human being, or so I surmise (a lot of people start having sex without intercourse, so it might be you've done what's called foreplay, just not intercourse, but it appears you haven't done this either).  Any medication can cause tons of potential problems.  Allergy meds come in two categories:  stimulating and sedating.  Not much in the middle.  Steroids are of course to be avoided except when absolutely necessary, but not for this reason in the way you're taking them but more because they adversely affect the immune system.  But yeah, both meds can make you lack energy.  If you read the warnings on the second one, it sounds like the things that are warned about when we take antidepressants and other meds that affect brain neurotransmitters, and while I have no idea if it does any of this as it's billed as an antihistamine, it lists potential side effects one would associate with drugs affecting GABA and dopamine and these drugs can definitely have sexual side effects.  You're doing the right thing by stopping them, and if over time the problem goes away you'll know it was the meds.  If it doesn't, though, do you have anxiety problems?  Self-esteem issues?  Are you nervous about having sex for the first time?  Again, masturbation is a whole different animal and so don't even think of it as sex as it only involves you.  If you're perfectly calm and secure then psychological issues aren't the problem, but when it comes to male performance that's usually where the problem lies in young people.  I did notice one warning for one of the meds was don't use if you have prostate problems, and prostate problems can also adversely affect sexual performance.  I would personally no matter how this turns out try to find a gentler way to deal with allergies than this cocktail.  Ever tried natural antihistamines?  If they work, not much problem with most of them, and the only one with some problems, ma huang or ephedra isn't really available anymore because it's very stimulating and the source of a substance that can be used to make meth.  Most people never had any problems with it, though, it's more of our drug war thing.  So give it more time without the meds, but do know although I wouldn't personally take this cocktail it might be something else and the most common thing for someone just starting out is the nervousness inexperience sometimes brings.  Other things that can cause it are fatigue, distraction, and such things as well.  Time usually fixes this, and if it's just beginner's anxiety, having sex with a more experienced woman who knows how to deal with it can do wonders.  Peace.
Helpful - 0
1 Comments
Thanks for teply. Well, that's what my doc recommended me some time ago so that's what I'm going with :(

> "though you don't say how long you've been doing it, and so this appears not to ever happened before, but masturbation is a whole different animal than having sex with a partner"
A couple of years easily, 10yr+ I'd say. Never noticed something like this before but like you observed, never before did I have an opportunity to have sex (or even go on a date with a girl) so that's a completely new situation for me.

>"as this is your first sexual relationship with another human being, or so I surmise (a lot of people start having sex without intercourse, so it might be you've done what's called foreplay, just not intercourse, but it appears you haven't done this either)"
Yep, my first ever relationship with another person

>"If it doesn't, though, do you have anxiety problems?  Self-esteem issues?  Are you nervous about having sex for the first time?"
No self esteem issues, I do have some slight anxiety/depression problems now and then after a very taxing 2020 which put me under extreme stress basically throughout so only during the past months have I been able to slowly get back to kind-of and equilibrium. As for having sex for the first time - well, consciously I am not nervous about it but who knows what's happening subconsciously. I found that even though I feel pretty chill beforehand (at least consciously, who knows what's happening subconsciously) and when making out, even confident maybe, when the pants go off and I see that my penis isn't really cooperating, I go into panic mode and trying to force myself to chill (which we all know the success rate of, lol) really fast after the first time when it did not work. There's also still this anxiety component of being in such a new situation (having a GF, being intimate with another person, being naked in the company of another person etc) I guess. Hell, before this relationship I've never even been on a date and now after just a couple meetings there's sex involved.

>"If you're perfectly calm and secure then psychological issues aren't the problem"
Well, I certainly would not call myself perfectly calm and secure, that's for sure!

>"Time usually fixes this, and if it's just beginner's anxiety, having sex with a more experienced woman who knows how to deal with it can do wonders.  Peace. "
Thanks a lot, hopefully it resolves itself after me getting more comfortable with intimate situations with another human and after going off the meds.
207091 tn?1337709493
The antihistamine can affect it, but you know, so can allergies. Allergies make you tired, feel lousy, sleep like crap, etc., etc. That all affects your sex drive. Allergies really stink.

You are also trying to have sex for the first time. That's nerve wracking. Does she know it's your first time? Are you working up to actual sex with some foreplay?

Just take it easy on yourself, allow yourself to take your time, have some fun with it. If your partner doesn't know it's your first time, tell her. Let her lead you through this. :)

Helpful - 0
3 Comments
>"You are also trying to have sex for the first time. That's nerve wracking."
Yeah, for sure. consciously I am not nervous about it but who knows what's happening subconsciously. I found that even though I feel pretty chill beforehand (at least consciously, who knows what's happening subconsciously) and when making out, even confident maybe, when the pants go off and I see that my penis isn't really cooperating, I go into panic mode and trying to force myself to chill (which we all know the success rate of, lol) really fast after the first time when it did not work. There's also still this anxiety component of being in such a new situation (having a GF, being intimate with another person, being naked in the company of another person etc) I guess. Hell, before this relationship I've never even been on a date and now after just a couple meetings there's sex involved.

>"Does she know it's your first time?"
Yep, she does

>"Are you working up to actual sex with some foreplay?"
Kind of but I'm having a suspicion we may be going too quick. I mean, as soon as my penis get hard, we try to escalate (oral sex or trying to have penetrative sex) but then as soon as it gets to it, it goes softer so I start panicking why that's happening and that's that. Maybe it'd be wise to have a longer foreplay session with just touching each other (not only on the genitals) beforehand though my thoughts certainly do drift towards "Oh my, is it going to stay hard? Gosh it's getting softer already even though it's so hot, why?!" realms even when we're just making out.

>"Just take it easy on yourself, allow yourself to take your time, have some fun with it."
THanks :)
Everyone starts sex some time, but the way they start sex seems to be different these days than when I was starting out.  Back then we started pretty young but we didn't generally start with intercourse.  My first intense physical relationship in fact never got to intercourse, it was all what people now call foreplay but for me that's always just been part of sex.  Because of how I started, I thought that's how sex went, and so until I got into my forties I always did a lot of foreplay before getting to the intercourse part of the fun.  By then of course a lot had already happened.  It's just the way it developed for me, and I'm not sure that's how mature women liked it, but what did I know?  I think these days people seem to be waiting longer to have sex and are moving to intercourse more quickly because of that, but when you're very young pregnancy is a major impediment and women aren't sure yet about the whole virginity thing.  But I will tell you, almost every guy at some point in their lives goes through a period where they get insecure about sex.  Women have it really easy in this regard because no matter how nervous they might be their equipment doesn't have to do anything to make it happen, whereas a man does have to have something happen.  So again, don't worry about it, time takes care of it until you're old like me and then your prostate goes and then you're back wondering if the thing will work or not.  Life's a circle, you see.  Peace, and remember, sex is fun.  It's not a contest.  
I can tell you, as a woman, that while you're anxious about being naked, so is she. You're thinking, "omg I'm naked and it's so hot and I'm not hard and what even is happening?" and she's thinking much of the same, except that she's probably also worried about it being your first time and making sure it's good for you.

Explore different things. Try oral if you want, touch her everywhere, and let her touch you. Ask her what she likes, and try it. Slow it all down. Try just making out naked without doing anything else. All suggestions, of course, so do what you want and what feels right for you both, but definitely what Pax said - sex is fun. Enjoy it. :)
134578 tn?1614729226
When you call this your usual allergy regimen, I'm wondering why don't you get allergy shots. That would get rid of the need to do the regimen. My son has allergies that he would have had to treat with pills and nasal sprays on a constant basis, and the shots have removed the need to take them. And wow, is that a big improvement in life for him.

I would add to what the others are saying, that there is at least a pretty good chance that the problem with sex wasn't caused by the medications. Performance anxiety is a buzz-kill for sexual excitement, and even nervous and happy anticipation can have an anxiety element. There's also concern about pregnancy -- for some guys, that is enough not to be able to do anything.

With your girlfriend, please just talk to her. As jessi says, does she know this is your first time? Can she help you with some manual fun, or is she as new to this as you are? If she isn't experienced, the two of you might be making each other uneasy and embarrassed, when you could just jump in and touch each other and do creative things that don't involve the penis in the vagina, and get some satisfaction. Let her tell you what works for her in terms of hand pressure on the clitoris, and see where you two get. Being good at reaching orgasm without penetration might help might ease the worry about "am I going to get hard this time?" and like that.

I might add, if you are drinking and trying to have sex, one drink can relax you but more than one can remove the ability to do much about it, so there's that. And please be sure about the birth control. :-)
Helpful - 0
1 Comments
Thanks for the reply!
Have an Answer?

You are reading content posted in the Men's Health Community

Top Men's Health Answerers
1622896 tn?1562364967
London, United Kingdom
139792 tn?1498585650
Indore, India
11369760 tn?1449504372
Southwest , MI
Learn About Top Answerers
Didn't find the answer you were looking for?
Ask a question
Popular Resources
STDs can't be transmitted by casual contact, like hugging or touching.
Syphilis is an STD that is transmitted by oral, genital and anal sex.
Discharge often isn't normal, and could mean an infection or an STD.
Chlamydia, an STI, often has no symptoms, but must be treated.
Bumps in the genital area might be STDs, but are usually not serious.
Get the facts about this disease that affects more than 240,000 men each year.