How Vicodin May Be Affecting Your Sex Life

Manish Mishra, MBBS

Medically Reviewed By: Manish Mishra, MBBS

on January 4, 2023

Vicodin may create a number of sexual side effects including erectile dysfunction, decrease in sexual desire, and a low libido. Additionally, intimacy and your sex life can be impacted due to Vicodin abuse.

The prescription opioid Vicodin (the combination of hydrocodone and acetaminophen) is a Schedule II controlled substance that’s used to help treat those suffering from chronic pain. 

Although useful in medical settings, Vicodin abuse may create a number of side effects that impact sexual health and intimacy.

Side Effects Of Vicodin On Sexual Health

Vicodin use can lead to side effects such as high blood pressure, sedation, and constipation. However, Vicodin can also cause specific effects on sexual function in men and women.

Sexual Side Effects Of Vicodin In Men

Men who abuse opioid drugs like Vicodin may experience:

  • erectile dysfunction
  • low testosterone levels
  • premature ejaculation
  • decrease in sexual desire
  • decrease in sexual activity
  • general sexual dysfunction

Men may also struggle with maintaining an erection, or other sexual problems, that can worsen depending on the severity of the drug use.

Sexual Side Effects Of Vicodin In Women

Women may also experience several sexual side effects when taking Vicodin, including:

  • low libido or sex drive
  • decrease in sexual activity
  • lack of sexual desire
  • general sexual dysfunction
  • change in sex hormones

Both women and men may struggle with similar sexual side effects related to Vicodin.

Vicodin Abuse & Intimacy

There are a number of ways in which abusing Vicodin can impact intimacy in one’s relationship. There are also forms of abuse which can seriously impact sexual health.

Snorting & Injecting Vicodin

Those struggling with substance abuse may crush Vicodin into a powder. As a powder, some may snort the substance, leading to damage of the mucous membranes, respiratory issues, and a persistent runny nose.

Others may combine the crushed tablet with a liquid to create a substance and inject into a vein of their body. This serious form of drug use allows the drug to instantly enter your bloodstream, resulting in a person experiencing a greater “high.”

This increase in sedation is a problem because it may lead to an overdose. Abusing the drug in either of these ways may also result in more severe side effects, including the possibility of sexual problems that affect relationships between partners or loved ones.

Multiple Sexual Partners

Those who engage in injecting Vicodin may use needles or syringes which can become contaminated. A person injecting Vicodin may develop a disease such as hepatitis or HIV.

If a person develops a disease which can be transmitted sexually, it can impact the sex life and intimacy with your partner.

Vicodin, Antidepressants, & Other Sexual Problems

Those who have mental health conditions which require you to take a specific antidepressant should speak with their primary doctor before taking Vicodin. Do not combine the following antidepressants with Vicodin, as more sexual problems can occur:

  • selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors (SSRIs) such as fluoxetine (Prozac) and sertraline (Zoloft)
  • serotonin and norepinephrine re-uptake inhibitors (SNRIs)
  • monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs)
  • benzodiazepines such as alprazolam (Xanax) and diazepam (Valium)
  • bupropion (Wellbutrin)

Additionally, due to the fact that many antidepressants have a side effect of erectile dysfunction and other effects of sex health, it’s important to not combine these medications with Vicodin, another medication which can interfere with sexual health and intimacy.

Other Drug Interactions

In addition to the dangers which can occur when antidepressants are combined with Vicodin, other drug interactions may take place. Speak with your healthcare provider before taking any of the following substances in combination with Vicodin:

  • stimulants
  • antihistamines such as Benadryl
  • over-the-counter pain medications
  • painkillers that include oxycodone (OxyContin and Percocet)
  • muscle relaxants
  • beta blockers and diuretics
  • oral contraceptives such as Viagra

If any of the above are mixed with the powerful opioid Vicodin, adverse events and drug interactions may take place. Combining CNS depressants can increase the likelihood of breathing problems such as respiratory depression.

Those who combine these medications may experience difficulty achieving an erection and can struggle with other sexual dysfunction issues due to the side effects of the substances as well a the profound sedation a person can experience from possible drug interactions.

Vicodin Addiction Treatment

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), some of the medications used to treat opioid use disorder such as methadone (Methadose) may increase sexual dysfunction. 

Despite this, medication-assisted treatment for opioid addiction may be a necessary step for recovery.

At Ohio Recovery Center, we provide a number of inpatient treatment options including detox and evidence-based practices like medication-assisted treatment and behavioral therapy. To learn more, please contact us today.

  1. MedlinePlus - Hydrocodone
  2. MedlinePlus - Hydrocodone Combination Projects
  3. National Center for Biotechnology Information - Erectile Dysfunction in Opioid Users: Lack of Association with Serum Testosterone
  4. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration - Methadone
  5. United States Drug Enforcement Administration - Hydrocodone
  6. United States Food and Drug Administration - Vicodin

Written by Ohio Recovery Center Editorial Team

© 2024 Ohio Recovery Center | All Rights Reserved

* This page does not provide medical advice.

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