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 Post subject: Low Testosterone Levels
PostPosted: Tue May 12, 2009 7:57 pm 
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Hello,

I'm very new to this forum and, admittedly, have probably not taken the necessary time to search for previous postings on this particular subject. My cursory search, however, did not elicit any substantive results, so I figured I'd create a new topic in the hope that one (or more) of you might be kind enough to take some time to educate me. Anyway, here it is.

I've been on Suboxone for roughly six months (8mg x 3 daily). In the month or two prior to my induction, when my opiate abuse was at its peak, I began noticing an unbelievably marked lowering of my sex drive -- a phenomenon that persists to this day (much to the disappointment of my wife). I happened to mention this to my doctor last week, at which point he then asked me if I was also suffering from certain other symptoms (hot flashes, lethargy, etc.). I was able to respond 'yes' to virtually every single sympton he mentioned, at which point the he said he strongly suspected I had low testosterone levels. He ordered blood work, which I just had drawn today. I've got two or three days to wait around for the results, and while I'm waiting, I'm wondering if anyone can speak generally, not only about the relationship between opiate abuse and testosterone, but specifically these questions:

1. How common is low testosterone among opiate addicts and/or Suboxone users?
2. Is the lower level a permanent condition that MUST be remedied by medication, or is it something that naturally subsides once opiate and/or Suboxone use is discontinued?
3. If medication (i.e., Andro-gel, etc.) is required, how well does it work and what are the common side effects?

Any assistance is greatly appreciated.


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PostPosted: Tue May 12, 2009 9:29 pm 
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Well, I'm not the doc but I can relate to this one!

I had/have absolutely no sex drive either. For a few months I terminated opiate therapy. During and after withdrawal, my drive came back fierce. I wouldn't last literally 4 seconds.

Since I had no sex drive, my wife drills me daily about it and its very annoying. Because there is no drive, I just don't care. I guess she doesn't understand. She asks "Doesn't it bother you?", "No, I have no drive, its actually nice". Man I wish I had no drive 12 years ago when sex got me in lots of messes that would have been nice!


Opiates lowering testosterone its a listed side effect of most of them, usually as 'decreased sex drive'. In addition to having no drive, and when I was lucky enough to even get an erection, my orgasms were PAINFUL, and a very low volume. I think thats called 'retrograde ejaculation'

Maye explaining it to her will help, or you could do what I did and show the listed side effects, but she still insisted it had some other cause.


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PostPosted: Wed May 13, 2009 12:53 am 
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Yes, you both are right-- all opiates potentially have that effect. I could make something up based on what I remember from grad schol.... read about 'pro-opio-melanocortin' sometime. There is a large protein that is cleaved into fragments, and the fragments include endorphin, enkephalin, and other hormones (glucocorticoid hormones if I am not mistaken). There are many connections between opiates, other hormones, the immune system... I don't know how much detail is understood.

I have treated low sex drive and/or low testosterone using androgel, or more often using methyl-testosterone to avoid breast growth (testosterone is converted to estrogen by the liver, causing breast growth in men-- methyl testosterone doesn't do that). Other side effects, besides breasts (isn't that enough!!?) are growth of prostate tisssue causing more trouble peeing for us old guys. And while it doesn't CAUSE prostate cancer, if you have cancer it is like pouring gas on a fire- it makes prostate cancer grow. It can also cause the same side effects as other anabolic steroids if you take too much or for too long-- even liver cancer in high doses.

But hey-- at least you get your sex life back!


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PostPosted: Wed May 13, 2009 12:57 am 
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Heh.. I had anabolic steroids! That was a nightmare..

My father was a doctor and back I was about 15 I was lifting weights, he gave me some I think methyltestosterone. I had a bad reaction to it. Yeah, my dad loved to play doctor at home too.


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PostPosted: Wed May 13, 2009 8:58 am 
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Thank you so much for the replies; they were all helpful. As a follow-up, I'm curious about the difference between Androgel and methyl testosterone. How is methyl testosterone administered ... pill form? As for breast growth, um ... yeah, I'd sort of like to avoid that if at all possible. But if using methyl testosterone helps to prevent that, are there other common side effects from methyl that the Androgel doesn't have?

Incidentally, my wife is very understanding about it ... perhaps even more so than the average wife might be. I'm pretty lucky in that regard. But after six months with virtually no action in that department, it's perfectly natural that her understanding sometimes gives way to frustration. It's interesting, though, because if I were otherwise single and unattached, I don't know that this lack of a sex drive would be so troubling to me. If you've never experienced it, you don't really have a reference point and will therefore not comprehend that it isn't really a huge deal. In some ways, no sex drive makes life a whole hell of a lot less complicated. :)


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PostPosted: Wed May 13, 2009 12:12 pm 
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I would assume that if you put back what was missing hormone wise, you'd be all good. I have a friend on androgel and its like a lotion.. Methyl was pills

You're right about it being less complicated though.. Its kind of nice.. But both of us are married and in my case, she taunts me every day about it, and I really don't like that. She cannot connect that even with overwhelming evidence that opioids lead to a loss of sex drive.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 17, 2009 3:33 am 
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If you do a google search, I believe you will find that there was a test done in the 1970's that showed a connection between opiate use and testosterone production.

I'm experiencing the same trouble (dead libido), but I am female. Women produce testosterone as well. Just in small amounts and the adrenals produce it.

Calliope


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 17, 2009 12:11 pm 
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I find it interesting that the guys were offered medication to correct their sex drives. When I complained about it I was told that it was normal and nothing could be done, or that I should lose weight, or go to therapy.

I'm pretty sure it's physical though. Sigh.

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 17, 2009 4:42 pm 
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I just got labs back on a patient who wanted to check his testosterone--- like usually, the result was in the ‘low normal’ range. That means if the normal is 200-900, his was 208. So, is that ‘normal’? Maybe he would feel better at 400, or 600. What is his normal supposed to be? That is one problem with lab tests.

Your comment is a good point, DQ—does anyone know what they used to do for ‘frigid’ women in the early 1900’s? I was shocked when I learned that the ‘vibrator’ is (was) a medical device; women would go in to the OB/GYN office and be brought to ‘climax’ for the sake of treating their frigidity! I’m not making this up-- it is hard to imagine how it worked exactly, but I have read about it in several different sources. Apparently doctor/patient relationships ain’t what they used to be!


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 17, 2009 8:06 pm 
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haha! The doctor is right! I saw something on the History Channel about the 'manual stimulation'. The Sears catalog used to sell vibrators and such in the early 1900's as well. Amazing given how sexually repressed the US is.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 18, 2009 1:31 am 
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Yeah, the first vibrators were medical devices. A steam-powered one was invented in 1869 (!) but doctors didn't like it because it was expensive and you had to keep shoveling coal into it.

But once the battery-powered ones came into play the docs were happy to be relieved of the tediousness of manually bringing their "hysterical" patients to orgasm. :roll: From Good Vibrations Antique Vibrator Museum


Quote:
Hysteria was a medical term developed to describe a woman's display of mental or emotional distress, behavior then considered a disease in need of treatment. Though the existence of hysteria as a disease was debunked by the American Psychiatric Association in 1952, medical experts from the time of Hippocrates up to the 20th century believed that hysteria expressed the womb's revolt against sexual deprivation. Genital massage was a standard treatment for hysteria; its objective was to induce "hysterical paroxysm" (better known as orgasm) in the patient. Such treatment demanded both manual dexterity and a fair amount of time, so turn-of-the-century physicians were delighted with the efficiency, convenience and reliability of portable vibrators. In light of hysteria's historical legacy, we can see that classifying hysteria as a disease was a refusal to acknowledge female sexuality as a human trait on par with male sexual functioning, as well as a refusal to recognize orgasm as a normal function of female sexuality.


And that concludes our history lesson for today kids.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 18, 2009 1:33 am 
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My dream job is to work on induction motors for battery operated pleasure devices, including field testing :)

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 18, 2009 6:15 am 
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"Opium addiction is not a bad lot if one doesn't mind impotence and constipation." - Edgar Allen Poe


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 18, 2009 6:25 am 
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Very nice find

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 19, 2009 1:11 am 
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Quote:
Hysteria was a medical term developed to describe a woman's display of mental or emotional distress, behavior then considered a disease in need of treatment. Though the existence of hysteria as a disease was debunked by the American Psychiatric Association in 1952, medical experts from the time of Hippocrates up to the 20th century believed that hysteria expressed the womb's revolt against sexual deprivation. Genital massage was a standard treatment for hysteria; its objective was to induce "hysterical paroxysm" (better known as orgasm) in the patient. Such treatment demanded both manual dexterity and a fair amount of time, so turn-of-the-century physicians were delighted with the efficiency, convenience and reliability of portable vibrators. In light of hysteria's historical legacy, we can see that classifying hysteria as a disease was a refusal to acknowledge female sexuality as a human trait on par with male sexual functioning, as well as a refusal to recognize orgasm as a normal function of female sexuality.


I have to laugh at this. Awhile ago, when I should have been cleaning my house but was instead wasting time web surfing, I came across an article similar to the one above. But this is the funny part: It seems that doctors really didn't enjoy giving their female patients "the treatment." It took a long time and was rather tedious. BUT, the treatments were safe, as in, the treatments didn't kill the patient. And the doctor could always count on repeat business from their patients.

Too funny

Calliope


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 10, 2010 4:00 pm 
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Our doctor gave our son Tramadol for general aches and pains (you must have fibromyalgia) and he was addicted to this for a couple of years, got up to about 10 pills daily. He could not wean himself off. Went to a doc and he put him on suboxone in October, with the plan to wean him off starting in 4-6 months. In the meantime he tested my son's testosterone and it came back at 285, I think normal range was between 265 and 1500, or something like that. So now he is on testosterone patches and suboxone. The doc said he will have to be on testosterone for the rest of his life. I am thinking once he gets off the suboxone, testosterone production should come back up. Does anyone have any info on this. (My son in 22) Thanks.


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 Post subject: Sexless wonder...
PostPosted: Mon Jan 11, 2010 2:24 am 
I've been on Suboxone for 4 months, and like a lot of you guys and gals, my sex drive is not only lowered, it's GONE. I'm 27 years old...and since this stuff makes orgasms hurt like a bitch anyway, I pretty much live the life of a monk. I also take Lexapro, which is an SSRI antidepressant that is known for decreasing the sex-drive (it didn't bother mine before the Subs). So what I did was ask my psychiatrist to prescribe Wellbutrin, because this is the only psychiatric drug that's proven to increase the sex drive when added to some antidepressants. Well, I've been taking Wellbutrin XL 300 mg every day now for a month, and I do have to say that 1.) my orgasms do not hurt anymore, so bye-bye retrograde ejaculation (!!!), and 2.) I can now become completely sexually aroused if I deliberately concentrate on doing so. These are things I definately couldn't do before I took the Wellbutrin. BUT it has taken about 5 weeks of taking the Wellbutrin every day before these effects have actually kiicked in. It's not a quick fix. But it is worth it!!! I'm sure it's going to get even better :twisted:

JD


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 Post subject: GREAT TOPIC...
PostPosted: Mon Jan 11, 2010 5:38 am 
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Wow, can i relate to this one.....yes, my libido is/ was down from yrs of methadone and a number of other narcotics. I had the same issue- I cleaned my-self up a while back and landed a gorgeous GF!! :D I couldn't climax :cry: I had all the symptoms of low testosterone. I went to an internist and he did extensive lab test. I barely had any free? testosterone. Immediately, the nurse called in testim(drug like androgel). This is an annoying sticky cream with a bad odor IMO and it didn't bring my levels into 'normal ' range. Also, my GF didn't want the testim to get on her via body contact, so my doc prescribes test cypionate(injectable form of long acting test). This is great stuff!! It improves mood(dramatically). Normally, I'm a very cynical, easy to piss off, kinda guy. Now, I'm walking around with an erection, smile, and I hate to say it, but euphoria- yep, i said it- euphoria, that feeling most of us LOVE. I find my-self addicted to this stuff as I self administer at home(shot in the butt).

Who wouldn't like this? I have gained twenty pounds of muscle with out too much work(this stuff got me off my ass and into the gym). I feel energized, pragmatic, confident, and on...
I have chronic pain in my knees. This stuff helps with bone density from what I understand...oh did I mention, my knees which used to keep me grounded (unable to leave home for extended periods) have stopped hurting by 50%. And it fixed that little/big impotence problem I was having :lol:

This is to good to be true...thats what scares me!! I'm sure there are drawbacks, but the benefits far outweigh the bad...

for now- I'm a testosterone cypionate addict. I would reccomend every addict experiencing libido/erection problems get their levels checked. Before mine, I was taking viagra, cialis, etc.. Also this is post 'active-addiction' for me.

I AM NOT A MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL AND YOU SHOULD CONSULT A M.D. THIS IS ALL PERSONAL EXPERIENCE.


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 Post subject: take a peek yer self...
PostPosted: Mon Jan 11, 2010 6:09 am 
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linky


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jan 16, 2010 10:31 pm 
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indigo...how much test cyp are you taking? I would assume the drawback is the same as steroids where your body stops producing it's on testosterone so when you go off the cyp you'll be worse off....but if you stay on it forever you're good to go. How much are you taking? I'm curious.


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