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ADD Treatment Causes Marital Stress

Q. I was recently married. I am 39, my husband is 42 and we are having some trouble. My husband takes Adderall for ADD and has zero sex drive.
He says he has felt this way for many years, due to the medication. (He’s been on Adderall for almost 10 years.)
We’ve tried Viagra and Cialis. They help his erectile dysfunction but do nothing for his libido. How can we improve his desire for sex?
I am feeling frustrated and hurt because he doesn’t seem to desire me at all. Do we have a chance for a normal sex life?
A. Adderall (mixed amphetamines) is used to treat a sleeping disorder called narcolepsy as well as attention deficit disorder (ADD). Initially, amphetamine may increase sex drive, but over time interest in sex may diminish. Impotence is also a potential side effect. Animal studies suggest that amphetamine can suppress testosterone production and may account for these complications.
Drugs like Viagra, Levitra and Cialis don’t affect libido, so we’re not surprised they did not improve his desire. Unless he can find a different way to deal with his ADD, it may be difficult to solve this problem.
An endocrinologist can test to see if his testosterone levels are low. If so, he might benefit from hormonal replacement.
Q.My doctor told me to use Prelief (calcium glycerophosphate) for interstitial cystitis. It does work.
The nurse said it is natural and has no side effects. Do you know of any? That seems too good to be true.
A. Interstitial cystitis is a painful bladder condition that may be aggravated by acidic foods and beverages like coffee, orange juice or tomato sauce. Prelief reduces acid in such foods to relieve symptoms associated with interstitial cystitis, overactive bladder or heartburn. We know of no side effects, but you can get more information at 800-994-4711.
Q. Why do doctors put patients on sleeping pills for years? A friend has taken Ativan for a long time and is now addicted to it. She is not the same person she once was. Is there any hope for her?
A. Sleeping pills can seem like a simple solution for insomnia, but drugs like Ativan (lorazepam), Dalmane (flurazepam), Halcion (triazolam), ProSom (estazolam), Valium (diazepam) or Xanax (alprazolam) may lead to dependence. Sudden discontinuation can cause rebound sleeping problems as well as other symptoms (agitation, anxiety or tremor). Short-acting drugs like lorazepam or triazolam may be especially problematical.
Gradually withdrawing over weeks or months may work. Some doctors prescribe longer-acting sleeping pills to ease this process.
We are sending you our Guides to Getting a Good Night’s Sleep and Psychological Side Effects, which provide more information on getting off sleeping pills. Anyone who would like copies, please send $3 in check or money order with a long (no. 10) stamped (60 cents), self-addressed envelope: Graedons’ People’s Pharmacy, No. IM-7, P. O. Box 52027, Durham, NC 27717-2027.
Q. My doctor has me on Plavix to improve circulation in my legs. TV ads for Plavix always include the statement, “Plavix, taken in conjunction with aspirin,” etc. Should I be taking aspirin as well, and if so, when and how much?
A. You should take aspirin only if your doctor prescribes it. Plavix and aspirin can interact to cause dangerous bleeding, so anyone taking both must be monitored closely.

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About the Author
Joe Graedon is a pharmacologist who has dedicated his career to making drug information understandable to consumers. His best-selling book, The People’s Pharmacy, was published in 1976 and led to a syndicated newspaper column, syndicated public radio show and web site. In 2006, Long Island University awarded him an honorary doctorate as “one of the country's leading drug experts for the consumer.”.
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