Effects of chronic morphine administration on the reproductive system of the male rat

T. J. Cicero, E. R. Meyer, W. G. Wiest, J. W. Olney, R. D. Bell

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The effects of chronic morphine administration on a variety of rat organs were examined. Only the prostates and seminal vesicles were affected by a 3 day period of morphine pellet implantation. In these organs, particularly the seminal vesicles, morphine produced a marked decrease in both the wet and dry tissue weight and a reduction in their secretory activity. This apparent morphine induced atrophy of these important accessory sex organs was not due to a change in the nutritional status of the animals but rather appeared to be associated with a pronounced (87%) reduction in the serum testosterone levels of morphine treated rats when compared to control levels. The effect of morphine on the secondary sex organs was reversed by withdrawing the animals from morphine administration for a period of 7 days. These data suggest that the role of physiological and endocrinological factors in the narcotic addict's sexual difficulties be examined.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)542-548
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics
Issue number3
StatePublished - Dec 1 1975


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