What Drugs Cause Compulsive Sexual Behavior Disorder?

Compulsive sexual behavior disorder is also known as hypersexuality, hypersexuality disorder, or sexual addiction. It is characterized by one’s persistent thoughts for sex and sexual activities. He cannot control these thoughts that affect his work, relationships, routine activities, career, and other aspects of life. It can affect any person irrespective of the sex. It is more common in males who have recently struggled to face any stress in life or other illness.

In some cases, it can be induced by medications or drug substances. Its symptoms include excessive involvement in masturbation, sexual fantasies, cybersex, pornography, extramarital sex, or multiple sexes. It may harm the affected person and others. It may result in the social detachment, feelings of guilt or shame, avoidance of recreational activities, etc.

What Drugs Cause Compulsive Sexual Behavior Disorder?

Recently, The World Health Organization (WHO) has introduced compulsive sexual behavior in the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11). WHO defines it as an impulsive disorder “characterized by a persistent pattern of failure to control intense, repetitive sexual impulses or urges resulting in repetitive sexual behavior.”(1)

One of the causes of Compulsive behaviors is imbalances of specific chemicals in the brain known as neurotransmitters. These neurotransmitters include dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine. They may help in the regulation of mood and enhance the experience of pleasure. It is found that the high levels of these chemicals may induce addiction to sex, especially the intense euphoria felt by the addict during sexual activity.(2)

This theory may clarify the reason that the use of antidepressants (particularly SSRIs which target serotonin) and mood stabilizers like lithium can benefit sexual addiction or hypersexuality. On the contrary, there are certain medications, such as dopamine agonists, may also induce compulsive sexual behavior.(2)

Obsessive-compulsive disorder symptoms and related disorders such as compulsive sexual behavior disorder are caused by medications, substance abuse, or toxin exposure. They usually disappear entirely when the substance responsible for it is identified and removed. Their symptoms may continue until all of the content or toxins get excreted from the body. The disappearance of the symptoms of the compulsive disorder depends on the metabolic activity of the body needed to remove these substances. It may continue for a few days or weeks, even after the discontinuation. In a few cases, OCD symptoms and behaviors triggered by the exposure to medications and substances do not disappear even after their discontinuation.(3)

The drugs or medicines that can cause compulsive sexual behavior disorder are-

  • Amphetamines – given for the treatment of ADHD or sometimes purchased illegally
  • Antipsychotics (olanzapine)- prescribed for schizophrenia


  • Anticonvulsants extensively used for the management of epilepsy
  • Hypnotics (prescription), but often misused for recreation
  • Sympathomimetics (that involve epinephrine or norepinephrine) and other bronchodilators(3)
  • Dopamine agonists such as pramipexole and ropinirole- prescribed to treat Parkinsons’ disease(4)

Thyroid medications

  • Lithium (lithium carbonate) – prescribed to treat a variety of mental illnesses
  • Drugs-Cannabis (marijuana), Cocaine, including crack and crystal methamphetamine & Hallucinogens (i.e., LSD, mescaline, psilocybin mushrooms)

Phencyclidine (PCP)

  • Toxins – volatile and toxic substances, such as paint, nerve gases, fuel, carbon monoxide, organophosphate insecticides, lead, & mercury(3)
  • Compulsive Sexual behavior is a hypersexuality disorder marked by one’s inability to manage one’s sexual behavior. It leads to the dwelling of persistent sexual thoughts in one’s mind that interfere with one’s ability to focus on work, maintain healthy relationships, and accomplish routine activities.(1)


Compulsive sexual behavior disorder is a condition in which a person repeatedly indulges in sexual fantasy and sexual activities. He cannot control his sexual thoughts and behaviors. It can be caused by the use of particular drug substances like cocaine, cannabis, opium, etc. and medicines such as Parkinson’s drugs, thyroid medicines, lithium, amphetamines, and others mentioned above.


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