Medication and Drug Causes of Enlarged Male Breasts (Gynecomastia)

Enlargement of the male breast (Gynecomastia) is a fairly common condition which frequently is a source of embarrassment and insecurity. As I have noted previous, its development is related to the absolute and relative levels of the sex hormones testosterone and estrogen. These levels are significantly affected by puberty, aging, alcohol, and certain drugs, medications and diseases.

So what are some of the medications and drugs that are associated with male breast enlargement? The following enumerates several categories of medications and identifies some specific examples:

  • Anti-androgens that are used to treat enlargement or cancer of the prostate. These act to decrease the biological effect of male sex hormones. Some examples include finasteride (Proscar, Propecia), dutasteride (Avodart), flutamide (Eulexin); cyproterone (Androcur, Climen)
  • Anti-anxiety medications: diazepam (Valium)
  • Tricyclic antidepressants such as amitriptyline (Elavil), doxepin (Sinequan) and imipramine (Tofranil)
  • Antibiotics such as ketoconazole (Nizoral), isoniazid
  • Ulcer medications such as cimetidine (Tagamet)
  • Certain chemotherapy agents used in the treatment of cancer.
  • Cardiac medications such as digitalis (Digoxin) and calcium channel blockers such as amlodipine (Norvasc), diltiazem (Cardizem) and nifedipine (Procardia)
  • AIDS medications, most notably Efavirenz
  • Products containing tea tree oil or lavender oil
  • Miscellaneous medications including estrogen, spironolactone (Aldactone), and HCG (human chorionic gonadotropin)

The following are some of the street and illicit drugs associated with Gynecomastia:

  • Marijuana
  • Cocaine
  • Anabolic steroids
  • Methadone
  • Amphetamines
  • Heroin

The above listing is not meant to be comprehensive but instead as a guide. If you are experiencing increasing gynecomastia unrelated to puberty and may be on one of the agents listed above or a similar medication or drug, you may want to investigate this further and discuss it with your appropriate physician. In order to surgically address the enlargement induced by the medication or drugs (if appropriate), male breast reduction surgery can be considered. This may involve ultrasonic assisted liposuction of the breasts and/or direct excision of the enlarged glandular tissue.

If you would like additional information on male breast reduction surgery in the treatment of enlarged male breasts (gynecomastia) such as with ultrasonic assisted liposuction or on any other cosmetic surgery procedure, you can contact my office at 480-451-3000.

Steven H. Turkeltaub, M.D. P.C.
Scottsdale and Phoenix, Arizona

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