STUDY: Pain killers linked to sexual problems in men

Posted at 6:18 PM, May 15, 2013
and last updated 2013-05-15 19:06:50-04

(CBS NEWS) - New research shows a link between taking prescription pain medications such as hydrocodone and oxycodone and sexual problems in men.

Researchers at the Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research looked at the
medical records of more than 11,000 men with back pain. They found men taking
high-dose opioids were 50 percent more likely to receive prescriptions for Erectile Dysfunction than men who did not take prescription painkillers.

Sales of opioid painkillers have quadrupled in recent years. About 4 million
adults in the U.S. use the medications on a regular basis.

Dr. Richard Deyo, with the Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research says there are alternative treatments for people with chronic pain.

"A combination of a tailored exercise program and what's called cognitive behavioral therapy, which is really just aimed at reducing fear of movement and fear of normal daily activities," said Deyo.

Researchers say the men in the study experienced problems after taking
painkillers for more than 3 months.

They advise patients talk to their doctor before starting any long term medication.