What Medications Can Lead to Gynecomastia?

Gynecomastia is a physiological phenomenon in most newborns and adolescents but certain medications, drugs and alcohol can lead to its development. Learn more about which medications can cause gynecomastia.

What Medications Can Lead to Gynecomastia?

Gynecomastia, or the enlargement of breast tissue in men, is a physiological phenomenon that can occur in newborns and adolescents. However, it can also be caused by certain medications, drugs, and alcohol. It is important to be aware of the medications that can lead to gynecomastia so that it can be avoided or treated. Risperidone, verapamil, nifedipine, omeprazole, alkylating agents, anti-HIV drugs (efavirenz), anabolic steroids, alcohol, and opioids are all known to increase the risk of gynecomastia.

Antibiotics, antiulcer drugs, growth hormones, and chemotherapy have also been linked to the development of gynecomastia. Additionally, marijuana, methadone, heroin and amphetamines are illicit drugs that can cause gynecomastia if abused chronically. Ulcer medications are also known to cause gynecomastia. Amitriptyline is one such medication that has been linked to the development of gynecomastia.

Anti-AIDS antiviral drugs have also been associated with gynecomastia. Products containing lavender oil or tea tree oil have been suggested to cause prepuberal gynecomastia when used topically for long periods of time. If a patient is taking any medications related to gynecomastia and their blood test does not indicate any specific endocrine or systemic disorder, the cause is likely idiopathic. The treatment for drug-induced gynecomastia includes discontinuing the offending drug. In some cases, surgical intervention may be required.

It is important for teens who use anabolic steroids or abuse alcohol, marijuana, heroin or amphetamine to be aware of the risk of developing gynecomastia.

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