Statins May Lower Testosterone, Libido
Men With Erectile Dysfunction on Statin Therapy Are Twice as Likely to Have Low Testosterone, Study Finds
WebMD News Archive
Statins, Testosterone, and ED: Other Views
''This is huge," says Irwin Goldstein, MD, director of sexual medicine at
Alvarado Hospital in San Diego and editor-in-chief of the Journal of
The study results, he says, demonstrate the need for more study to replicate
the finding and figure out the reason for the link.
According to the authors, he says, the best explanation for now is that
"statins may disrupt the pituitary feedback to the testicles, telling them to
For consumers, he says, the message is for men on statins to pay attention
to early warning signs of testosterone deficiency. That includes falling asleep
after meals when they did not in the past, noticing poorer athletic
performance, having a change from an upbeat mood to a grumpy mood, and
experiencing a reduced sex drive, Goldstein says.
If a man suspects testosterone deficiency, Goldstein says he should ask his
doctor about checking his testosterone levels.
Statins and Testosterone: Industry Input
In a prepared statement, Sally Beatty, a spokeswoman for Pfizer, the
manufacturer of Lipitor, says, "Millions of people have been prescribed
Lipitor, which is clinically proven to lower bad cholesterol levels 39%-60%
(this is an average effect depending on dose), when diet and exercise aren't
The label on Lipitor does warn of the possibility of interference with
hormone production, she says. "As described in the Lipitor U.S. prescribing
information, statins interfere with cholesterol synthesis and theoretically
might blunt adrenal and/or gonadal steroid production."
But she says, "It is important to note that some other studies and analyses
have shown that Lipitor does not have an effect on levels of testosterone or
other reproductive steroid hormones."
Spokesman Lee Davies of Merck and Schering-Plough, which make Zocor and
Vytorin, had no comment on the study, but says neither of its two statin labels
refers to low testosterone.