Q. What can I do about a flagging libido? I’m 66 years old and in very good health, with no bad habits. My only medication is Lipitor to lower cholesterol.
My much younger wife and I used to have a vigorous and inventive sex life, but my interest in sex has practically disappeared. The only time I get aroused is around 4 am, which is impractical to say the least. What do you suggest?
A. We suggest you talk with your physician. Lipitor (atorvastatin), Zocor (simvastatin) and other statin-type cholesterol-lowering drugs may interfere with sexual desire and performance. The authors of a Dutch study propose that lowering cholesterol with these drugs may alter testosterone production (British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, Sept. 2004). That is because cholesterol is a building block for hormones like testosterone.
Rather than stopping the drug on your own, please get your doctor’s guidance about how to lower your cholesterol without ruining your love life. We are sending you our Guides to Drugs that Affect Sexuality and Cholesterol Control & Heart Health. If testosterone levels are low, a prescription for testosterone may restore your lost libido.