Men’s Health: Opioids, Alcohol and “Low T”
Substance Use Disorders and Reduced Sexual Functioning:
Studies in opioid pill, heroin addicts and heavy alcohol users, compared to healthy controls, have demonstrated decreased testosterone levels in males resulting in significant sexual dysfunction:
- Decreased Libido
- Erectile Dysfunction
- Decreased Testicular Tissue
- Ejaculation Problems
- Decreased Sperm Count
- Decreased Testicular Fluid
- Decreased Sperm Motility
- Decreased Fertility
- Enlarged Prostrate
- Enlarged Breasts
Testosterone Levels in Methadone and Suboxone Treated Patients
In methadone treated male patients, several studies have demonstrated decreased testosterone levels
- This is a dose-response effect
- in patients on “low dose” methadone (10-60 mg/day) there was no evidence of lowered testosterone co
- In “high dose” methadone (80-150 mg/day), there was significant reduction in testosterone
The Impact of Opioids on the Endocrine System: Massachusetts general Hospital N. Katz. MD
One study compared:
Endocrine function in 17 men treated with Buprenorphine (Suboxone or Subutex) for addiction, 37 men on high-dose methadone and 51 healthy blood donors served as controls.
- Patients treated with buprenorphine had significantly higher testosterone levels and a significantly lower frequency of sexual dysfunction compared with patients treated with methadone.
- The testosterone level of Buprenorphine treated patients did not differ from healthy controls.
Bliesener N et al . Plasma testosterone and sexual function in men on buprenorphine maintenance for opioid dependence. J Clinical Endocrinol Metab2005;(1):203-6.
Monitoring Male Patients on Suboxone or Methadone
All male patients treated with Suboxone or Methadone should be closely monitored for sexual dysfunction and as indicated be tested for “Low T”.