Drugs That Stimulate Sexual Behavior

Various clinically used or experimental drugs enhance sexual interest or potency as a side effect in humans. Levodopa Levodopa (L-dopa) is a natural intermediate in the biosynthesis of catecholamines in the brain and peripheral adrenergic nerve terminals. In the biologic sequence of events it is converted to dopamine, which in turn serves as a substrate of the neurotransmitter norepinephrine. Levodopa is used successfully in the treatment of Parkinson’s syndrome, a disease characterized by dopamine deficiency. When levodopa is administered to an individual with this syndrome, the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease are ameliorated, presumably because the drug is converted to dopamine and thereby counteracts the deficiency. Individuals treated with levodopa, especially older men, have been observed to experience a sexual rejuvenation. This effect has led to the belief that levodopa stimulates sexual powers. Consequently, studies with younger men complaining of decreased erectile ability have shown that levodopa increases libido and the incidence of penile erections. Overall, however, these effects are short lived and do not reflect continued satisfactory sexual function and potency. Thus, levodopa is not a true aphrodisiac. Read more […]

Emerging Pharmacological Therapies For Erectile Dysfunction

In addition to Sheng Jing and acupuncture, which are old, and gene therapy, which is novel and new, other emerging therapeutics for erectile dysfunction are the following: • Phosphodiesterase inhibitors (sildenafil, viagra) • Cyclic AMP activators (vasoactive intestinal polypeptide) • Alpha-Adrenergic receptor antagonists (phentolamine, yohimbine) • Dopaminergic receptor agonists (apomorphine) • Alpha-Melonocyte stimulating hormone • Potassium channel modulators • Endothelin antagonists • Nitric oxide donors • Drugs topically applied to penis (transdermal or transglandular nitroglycerine, capsaicine, papaverine, or prostaglandin E1) • Viagra (Sildenafil) — In March 1998, the FDA announced that Viagra®, a new drug from Pfizer, Inc., has been approved as treatment for male sexual dysfunction • Cialis (Tadalafil) — Works fast — within 30 min in some patients — and can work up to 36 hours. • Vardenafil (Levitra) — Levitra is an FDA-approval oral prescription medication for the treatment of erectile dysfunction in men. The Herbal Virility herbs and minerals have been claimed to show specific improvements in the following areas: • Catuaba (bark) Read more […]

Herb-Drug Interactions: Cannabis

Cannabis sativa L. (Cannabaceae) Synonym(s) and related species Bhang, Dagga, Ganja, Hashish, Indian hemp, Marihuana, Marijuana. Cannabis indica Lam. Constituents Cannabis herb contains a wide range of cannabinoids, which are the major active compounds. The main psychoactive constituent is delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC; dronabinol), and it is the cause of many of the pharmacological effects elicited by the consumption of cannabis. However, other cannabinoids, which do not possess psychoactive properties, such as cannabidiol, cannabinol (a decomposition product of delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol), cannabigerol and cannabichromene, are increasingly being investigated for their pharmacological and therapeutic properties. Cannabinoids are often found in the plant as their acid metabolites, e.g. ll-nor-9-carboxy-delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol, cannabidiol acid and others, especially if the plant has been grown in a cooler climate. These decarboxylate to the parent cannabinoid at high temperatures, such as during smoking. Most medicinal cannabis products have been heat treated to ensure that the cannabinoids are present only in the non-acid form. Use and indications Cannabis has no current established use in herbal Read more […]

Herb-Drug Interactions: Grapefruit

Citrus paradisi Macfad. (Rutaceae) Synonym(s) and related species Citrus paradisi Macfad. Grapefruit is a hybrid of the Pummelo or Pomelo (Citrus maxima (Burm.) Merr) with the sweet orange (Citrus sinensis (L.) Osbeck). Constituents Grapefruit contains furanocoumarins including bergamottin, 6′,7′-dihydroxybergamottin, bergapten, bergaptol, geranyl-coumarin and paradisin A, flavonoid glycosides such as naringin and flavonoid aglycones galangin, kaempferol, morin, naringenin, quercetin and others. The peel contains a volatile oil, mostly composed of limonene. Note that some grapefruit seed extracts have been found to contain preservatives such as benzethonium chloride, triclosan and methyl-p-hydroxybenzoate, which might be present because of the methods of production. Use and indications Grapefruit is used as a source of flavonoids (citrus bioflavonoids), which are widely used for their supposed antioxidant effects, and are covered under flavonoids. Grapefruit seed extracts are used for their antimicrobial properties, but there is some controversy that this might be due to preservative content rather than natural constituents. Grapefruit and grapefruit juice are commonly ingested as part of the diet, Read more […]

Herb-Drug Interactions: Epimedium

Epimedium brevicornu Maxim. (Berberidaceae) Synonym(s) and related species Barrenwort, Horny goat weed, Yin Yang Huo. There is some taxonomic confusion within the species, and most of the commercially available material has not been properly characterised. In Chinese medicine, a mixture of species (referred to as Herba Epimedii) is often used and includes the following species (some of which may be synonyms): Epimedium koreanum Nakai, Epimedium pubescens Maxim., Epimedium sagittatum (Sieb. Et Zucc) Maxim and Epimedium wushanense T.S.Ying. Constituents The major constituents of all species of epimedium are prenylated flavonoids and isoflavones: the most important are icariin, epimedin A, B and C, and 6-prenylchrysin. Apigenin, luteolin, kaempferol and quercetin are also present. A multitude of other constituents, for which the pharmaceutical relevance is unclear, have been identified. Use and indications Epimedium is used traditionally as an antirheumatic, tonic and to enhance bone health and treat osteoporosis. The isoflavones and prenylated flavones have oestrogenic activity. The herb is also used to enhance sexual function. Legend has it that this use was discovered after a goat herd in China found Read more […]