Codeine. An Unusual Cause of Ejaculatory Failure.
Dr Andrew Rynne.
Delayed ejaculation or so-called anorgasmia is a common male sexual dysfunction. In order of frequency it comes third to erectile dysfunction and premature ejaculation. It can be a deeply frustrating and devastating problem for which there are many causes. Drugs, both illicit and prescribed are common culprits. Common among the latter are all antidepressants and all antipsychotics. Not so well known however is Codeine. This over the counter addictive medicine is a major cause of ejaculatory incompetence. Yet very few people seem to realise it.
Just because it’s easy to get – usually without a prescription, this does not mean that codeine is just another Headache Medicine like paracetamol or aspirin. Far from it! Codeine is classified as an opioid. In other words its effects are not on the peripheral nervous system but on the brain chemistry itself. Any drug that has the potential to interfere with brain chemistry also has the capacity to bring about some serious sexual dysfunction and other problems..
Think of it this way: Messages are constantly been sent around your central nervous system via chemical known as neurotransmitters. This sophisticated communications system relays feelings of pleasure from your penis up to your brain. When your brain has had sufficient of this it relays a message to your ejaculatory ducts to ejaculate or reach orgasm.
But like all sophisticated systems it is easy to upset it.
Any drug that has a central brain action and the capacity to alter brain chemistry can also cause major disruption to messages to and from the brain. This in turn brings about a numbing of feelings from penis to brain such that the brain is insufficiently stimulated to respond with a message to ejaculate. When this happens there is but one solution – discontinue taking the offending medicine.
Indeed there are many other good reasons to discontinue taking codeine on regular bases. It is addictive. It causes a strain on your liver. And now as we have seen, it can cause major disruption to healthy sexual functioning. I have found in practise that it is sometimes very difficult to sell this idea of discontinuing codeine. Like nicotine and all addictive substances, codeine infuses in its victims a built-in resistance to the notion of quitting.
And yet quitting is not difficult if taken in easy bite-sized stages. By reducing the dose by 1/10 th per week over ten weeks most people succeed in quitting very easily. And just look at the advantages! Release from the tyranny of having to take a drug every day is one. Reduction of chronic liver damage is another. And now as we have just seen, return of normal healthy sexual functioning is perhaps greatest of all.
More information available at: www.doctorrynne.com