According to a report by the Mayo Clinic, 20% of all cases of gynecomastia, also known as moobs, in adult males are caused by various drugs. There is a delicate balance between testosterone and estrogen hormones. Testosterone controls male traits such as body hair and muscle mass. Estrogen controls the female traits, including the development of breasts. Taking some drugs, including prescription and illegal, may have the unfortunate side effect of upsetting the balance of sex hormones, which could lead to gynecomastia breast growth. Estrogen is not exclusive to females, men also produce it but in small quantities. If these hormones should be out of balance or get to high levels, gynecomastia or male breasts can be the result.
Medications that can cause gynecomastia:
- Anti-androgens used to treat prostate enlargement or cancer and some other conditions. Examples include flutamide, finasteride (Proscar) and spironolactone (Aldactone).
- Anabolic steroids and androgens.
- AIDS medications. Gynecomastia, male breast, can develop in HIV-positive men who are receiving a treatment regimen called highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART). Efavirenz (Sustiva) is more commonly associated with gynecomastia than are other HIV medications.
- Anti-anxiety medications, such as diazepam (Valium).
- Tricyclic antidepressants.
- Ulcer medications, such as cimetidine.
- Cancer treatment (chemotherapy).
- Heart medications, such as digoxin (Lanoxin) and calcium channel blockers.
Street drugs and alcohol can cause gynecomastia and include:
This is not a complete list, these drugs will not necessarily cause gynecomastia, drugs affect everyone differently. The evaluation of the San Francisco Bay Area patient needs to include a comprehensive drug history including over-the-counter medications as well as illicit drug use. Patients from Sacramento and Los Angeles, as well as all over the United States have found it convenient to see Dr. Delgado for their gynecomastia surgery for male breast reduction. Many have their initial consultation regarding their gynecomastia breasts, by Skype or by phone.