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Author Topic: (legal) amphetamines and their effect on the penis  (Read 66792 times)

SomeGuy

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(legal) amphetamines and their effect on the penis
« on: June 27, 2012, 08:02:11 am »
As you can see in my other thread, I've been having some erectile issues and have borderline low (but probably ok) testosterone.  As I've been examining my symptoms and looking at my timeline of events, I've come up with some potentially alarming theories about the amphetamine-based medications I previously took.  I'm not an expert by any means, so take everything below with a grain of salt.  The observations below are cobbled together from my own experiences and research from various internet sources that may or may not be reliable.

About 10 months ago I got tired of the issues I was having with concentration and memory and went to see my doc about it.  He decided that I have Attention Deficit Disorder and prescribed amphetamine-based stimulant medication for it.  Over the last 10 months I've been on various meds including Vyvanse, Adderall, dextroamphetamine, and finally Wellbutrin (prescribed off-label for ADD, not for depression). 

The Vyvanse, addreall, and dextroamphetamine (all amphetamines) made my penis shrivel up to a much smaller flaccid size while I was on it.  It was impossible to get an erection except for late at night or in the morning before taking my dose, and even then it was difficult and not all it should be (smaller and less firm).

The doc then put me on Wellbutrin as a last resort that could help my concentration issues without causing sexual issues.  I'm still having problems.  My penis is still smaller than it used to be when flaccid.  It's difficult to get an erection and when I do it often goes away half way through.  My penis seems "numb" and isn't as sensitive as it used to be.  I almost never get morning wood any more.  This is alarming to me because Wellbutrin isn't supposed to cause these effects and I'm wondering if the amphetamines did permanent damage.  I'm currently tapering off the Wellbutrin to see if things return to normal once everything is out of my system.

I've done a lot of research online and apparently it's fairly common for amphetamines to cause shrinkage and ED.  They are vasoconstrictors.  They constrict the blood vessels and reduce blood flow.  They also increase noadrenaline levels, which leaves the body's "fight or flight" response constantly triggered.  One result of this is that blood flow is taken away from non-essential tissue like the genitalia and sent to the skeletal muscles to increase speed and strength to survive an immediate physical threat.

Wellbutrin is not supposed to cause these symptoms, but it does also somewhat increase noradrenaline so I suppose it could be causing these issues for me too.

My theory is that the amphetamines decreased blood flow to the penis for the entire time I was taking them.  This resulted in some atrophy which caused the ongoing shrinkage and numbness and ED, even after discontinuing the meds.

My secondary theory is that they may have also reduced bloodflow to the testicles, thus decreasing testosterone production.  I had my T tested after several months on the amps and it came back at 502 total, 69.4 free (low-ish for my age (33), but the consensus seems to be that it shouldn't be low enough to cause problems.)  This test was around 6 months ago and I plan to go back and have it tested again soon.

I'm hoping that if this is the case none of the effects are permanent and things will get better once blood flow has been restored for a while.

Another interesting theory I found online was on a psychiatrist's blog.  He mentioned that the amphetamines, when prescribed in appropriate dosages, almost never cause sexual issues -- except for in people who already had borderline hormonal problems to begin with.  He contends that some people have borderline low T (or other issues) that aren't enough to cause problems, but then when they start taking these meds it's enough to put them over the edge and give them erectile problems even though other people can take the same meds with no ill effects.

This all seems to fit with me because prior to taking any of these meds I had concentration and memory problems and occasional ED or lack of firmness, but not enough to seek treatment for.  I now have the same mental problems along with more severe ED, numbness, and shrinkage.  I'm wondering if I had borderline low T before which wa causing some of these symptoms, and now the meds have atrophied my penis and/or reduced my T even more by atrophying my testicles.

Sorry for the long rambling post.  My main goal was just to share this info for any other guys who are having similar issues.  My searches online have found almost nothing about this, so I wanted to pass on my own experiences.  Also, if anyone has any thoughts on whether I might be right or am completely off-base I'd love to hear those as well.
Current protocol -- 66mg Test Cyp 3x per week, 0.1mg Arimidex 3x per week, 125 IU HCG every day.

Prsartist

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Re: (legal) amphetamines and their effect on the penis
« Reply #1 on: June 27, 2012, 05:36:22 pm »
Can't say for sure as I was on (vyvanse and adderall) for the last 2 years after being diagnosed
With adult ADD im 46 and hadn't noticed any size difference after starting them.

However Ive had a near total loss of libido and ED issues
Before I started taking the amphetimines. (my T levels were in the high 200's) They did help me greatly with daily Functioning as I was having a lot of trouble with
Exhaustion, fatigue, and muscle weakness but they did exhaust my adrenal glands which in turn
Eliminates any benefits the drugs gave me early on.

Adrenal exhaustion is definitely something you don't want to
Deal with along with other problems!

And easy home test to determine adrenal function is to take your BP
Lying down, then stand up and take it again.

There is an adrenal gland hormone (forget the name at the moment)
That recognizes the the drop in pressure and triggers
The vascular system to constrict (boost BP)
It is a normal response to see a rise in BP when standing.

When your adrenals are compromised its not producing enough
Hormones to raise the BP and you will expierence a drop
In pressure upon standing. I have a pretty significant drop
Of 15-20 points when standing.  So ive been weaning off the adderall
And will soon stop completely.  From what I understand you have
To give you adrenals time to repair themselves with rest and a healthy
Lifestyle and eliminating "all" stimulants as much as possible (caffeine and nicotine are stimulants too)

Good luck..

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Re: (legal) amphetamines and their effect on the penis
« Reply #1 on: June 27, 2012, 05:36:22 pm »


makingsteel

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Re: (legal) amphetamines and their effect on the penis
« Reply #2 on: June 27, 2012, 05:56:05 pm »
Someguy. That's how our society does things. They treat what you are complaining about and sexual side effects are minor. After going through this website I see how important the whole sexual system is especially the penis from a clinical point point of view(my wife might have another opinion about the penis). I think of it like another barometer in the information my body gives me. In fact all my regular blood readings like sugar, BP, PSI, Cholesterol all come out perfect. It was not until I asked for a T test that I really saw what was going on with my body. This site is a great site and PEAK T is doing a great job.

PeakT

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Re: (legal) amphetamines and their effect on the penis
« Reply #3 on: June 27, 2012, 09:39:38 pm »
Thanks for the encouragement.  It is strange how good of a barometer an erection is! 

Hey, I will definitely earmark this page and, if anyone asks, will warn them.  In some cases, you have to do what you have to do.  But I think two things are an incredible tragedy when it comes to medications:

1.  Doctors never (or very rarely) warn patients about potential side effects.  Again, I will tell the story of a friend whose wife was given a muscle relaxant and developed mild psychotic symptoms.  The doctor told my friend, "I didn't tell you about that?" 

I know doctors are worried about a placebo effect, but I don't think that's the real reason:  it's time.  They just don't want to take that extra few minutes and explain that all medications have risks and side effects and come back immediately if you notice any issues.  This is especially the key with the psychotropic/SSRI/neurotransmitter-related drugs.  Most patients on these drugs are very vulnerable and need particularly good advice.

2.  You doctor did not immediately think to himself, "Could this affect this guy's sex life?"  Let's be honest here:  there are very few things more important to man than his sex life and few things more critical to his health and relationships.  Why would that NEVER cross a doctor's mind?  If it was his sex life on the line, I bet he would act differently.

Well, anyway, I would not think about "permanent damage".  I don't think these cause permanent alterations, but will try to find out more for. you.  But, for example, look at this study on monkeys of Ritilin:

It lowered testosterone and so on but then all equaled out and the authors stated: "In today's announcement, Mattison said the effects [of the drug] were not permanent. Around age 5, both the treated and untreated groups [of monkeys]  reached similar stages of puberty."

http://californiaschildren.typepad.com/californias-children/2011/09/high-doses-of-the-drug-methylphenidate-the-active-ingredient-in-ritalin-and-other-adhd-medications-reduced-testes-siz.html
"09/20/2011, High doses of Ritalin reduces testosterone in monkeys"

So don't give up - you're young and you can heal and get yourself where you need to be almost for sure...

THE MOST COMPREHENSIVE BOOK ON TRT/TESTOSTERONE:
https://www.amazon.com/Natural-Versus-Testosterone-Therapy-Myer/dp/1523210532/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1499116128&sr=8-1&keywords=natural+versus+testosterone+therapy
And check out my New Peak Testosterone Program: http://www.peaktestosterone.com/peak_testosterone_program.aspx
If you are on medications or have a medical condition, always check with your doctor first before making any lifestyle changes or taking new supplements.  And low testosterone is a medical condition.

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Re: (legal) amphetamines and their effect on the penis
« Reply #3 on: June 27, 2012, 09:39:38 pm »


SomeGuy

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Re: (legal) amphetamines and their effect on the penis
« Reply #4 on: June 28, 2012, 07:39:53 am »
Thanks, guys.  I'll add adrenal function to my list of tests to request at my next doctor visit.  I'll also keep this thread updated with any new developments.

I'm slowly tapering off of the Wellbutrin (under the supervision of my doctor).  I want to see how things work once all medication is out of my system.  I'm dropping things left and right and stumbling around like a drunken sailor, but apparently temporary loss of coordination is a common side effect of Wellbutrin withdrawl.  So far no changes downstairs.
Current protocol -- 66mg Test Cyp 3x per week, 0.1mg Arimidex 3x per week, 125 IU HCG every day.

PeakT

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Re: (legal) amphetamines and their effect on the penis
« Reply #5 on: June 28, 2012, 07:45:04 am »
By the way, I'm going to add your concerns about Wellbutrin to the other thread...
THE MOST COMPREHENSIVE BOOK ON TRT/TESTOSTERONE:
https://www.amazon.com/Natural-Versus-Testosterone-Therapy-Myer/dp/1523210532/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1499116128&sr=8-1&keywords=natural+versus+testosterone+therapy
And check out my New Peak Testosterone Program: http://www.peaktestosterone.com/peak_testosterone_program.aspx
If you are on medications or have a medical condition, always check with your doctor first before making any lifestyle changes or taking new supplements.  And low testosterone is a medical condition.

SomeGuy

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Re: (legal) amphetamines and their effect on the penis
« Reply #6 on: July 02, 2012, 07:06:34 am »
I've been down to 150mg per day of Wellbutrin for about a week now. (down from a previous dosage of 300mg/day).  No change in penis size or ability until the last couple of days:  I'm now noticing that it's a bit larger in the late evenings and early mornings (I take the med in the morning, so these times would be when my medication levels are lowest.)  It's still the same sad, shriveled size during the day.  I also got morning wood yesterday morning for the first time in quite a while.  I've also started getting some intermittent pain in my testicles.  Sometimes a brief stabbing pain, more often a dull ache.  I didn't have this until around a week after cutting down on my Wellbutrin dosage...  I'm not sure what's going on there, but my wishful thinking is telling me that it's from them getting more blood flow and waking back up!  :)
Current protocol -- 66mg Test Cyp 3x per week, 0.1mg Arimidex 3x per week, 125 IU HCG every day.

PeakT

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Re: (legal) amphetamines and their effect on the penis
« Reply #7 on: July 02, 2012, 07:30:31 am »
Well, glad things seem to be improving.  I would ask about the "stabbing pain" issue.  I doubt that is related to the Wellbutrin, so you should ask some questions.

Of course, I need to add a disclaimer here:  you need to work with your doctor on cutting back on any medications.
THE MOST COMPREHENSIVE BOOK ON TRT/TESTOSTERONE:
https://www.amazon.com/Natural-Versus-Testosterone-Therapy-Myer/dp/1523210532/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1499116128&sr=8-1&keywords=natural+versus+testosterone+therapy
And check out my New Peak Testosterone Program: http://www.peaktestosterone.com/peak_testosterone_program.aspx
If you are on medications or have a medical condition, always check with your doctor first before making any lifestyle changes or taking new supplements.  And low testosterone is a medical condition.

SomeGuy

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Re: (legal) amphetamines and their effect on the penis
« Reply #8 on: July 02, 2012, 08:05:20 am »
Thanks!

Yes, I'm working with my doctor on cutting back.  I told him I wanted to discontinue the Wellbutrin so he's slowly tapering me off.  I'll ask a doc about the pain issue if it continues.
Current protocol -- 66mg Test Cyp 3x per week, 0.1mg Arimidex 3x per week, 125 IU HCG every day.

thishelpedme

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Re: (legal) amphetamines and their effect on the penis
« Reply #9 on: March 02, 2014, 09:16:54 pm »
In reply to the original posting:

I had almost all the symptoms: ED, shrinkage, lack of ability to get a full erection, and this was even after I discontinued use for a couple days. This was only after my 3rd use I noticed the change.  I should mention that my comments include legal and other amphetamines for anyone that might be looking this up, sorry if I got on in the wrong thread, but this was very informative and helped me to make better life decisions.  I was disappointed but as was stated in other comments, a mans sexual health is important, and not worth to be decreased or disregarded in any form or for any reason.  Im glad I found this thread and I hope I help others out who may have came across the same problems. Good luck to everyone.


PeakT

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Re: (legal) amphetamines and their effect on the penis
« Reply #10 on: March 03, 2014, 08:01:04 am »
In reply to the original posting:

I had almost all the symptoms: ED, shrinkage, lack of ability to get a full erection, and this was even after I discontinued use for a couple days. This was only after my 3rd use I noticed the change.  I should mention that my comments include legal and other amphetamines for anyone that might be looking this up, sorry if I got on in the wrong thread, but this was very informative and helped me to make better life decisions.  I was disappointed but as was stated in other comments, a mans sexual health is important, and not worth to be decreased or disregarded in any form or for any reason.  Im glad I found this thread and I hope I help others out who may have came across the same problems. Good luck to everyone.

So are you doing quite a bit better now?  If so, did you just slowly improve with time or was it lifestyle changes? 
THE MOST COMPREHENSIVE BOOK ON TRT/TESTOSTERONE:
https://www.amazon.com/Natural-Versus-Testosterone-Therapy-Myer/dp/1523210532/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1499116128&sr=8-1&keywords=natural+versus+testosterone+therapy
And check out my New Peak Testosterone Program: http://www.peaktestosterone.com/peak_testosterone_program.aspx
If you are on medications or have a medical condition, always check with your doctor first before making any lifestyle changes or taking new supplements.  And low testosterone is a medical condition.

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Re: (legal) amphetamines and their effect on the penis
« Reply #10 on: March 03, 2014, 08:01:04 am »