Tell Me Where It Hurts

Q: I'm male and 55. I have rheumatoid arthritis and I have to use a lot of pain medication besides my arthritis drugs. I feel weak, my muscles are thinning and even my sex drive is gone. Is all that from the arthritis?

A: Any chronic illness such as arthritis, diabetes or multiple sclerosis can lead to muscle wasting, fatigue or sexual dysfunction. Many of the drugs utilized to treat these ailments may cause additional problems on their own, and strong pain pills are not the exception.

Opiate analgesics, or narcotics as they are known, can suppress testosterone, the hormone responsible (among other things) for sex drive and muscle strength. Commonly prescribed analgesic drugs in that category include codeine, morphine and oxycodone, but all narcotics can lead to low testosterone levels. A simple blood test can detect it, and hormonal supplements should be readily available from your physician.








© Dr. Moacir Schnapp and Dr. Kit Mays


Articles Presented by Dr. Moacir Schnapp and Dr. Kit Mays - Click here to learn more.

Tell Me Where It Hurts

Pain As A Neurodegenerative Disorder

The Multidisciplinary Approach to Pain

Opiate Myths

Pain is Obligatory, But Suffering is Optional

Pain: Myth Busters

Sleepless in Pain

The Pain from Shingles

When You Need a Pain Specialist

Why Does Pain Hurt?