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Side effects from spouses' medications.

Side Effects From Spouses' Medications

Transmission of drugs through skin-to-skin contact, as in sexual intercourse, may be the culprit when patients arrive at the doctor's office with side effects of medications they are not taking. Researchers from the Centre Regionale de Pharmacovigilance de Rouen report two case studies indicating transdermal drug transfer between spouses. In one case report, a woman complained to her doctor of excessive "male-pattern" facial hair growth, but testing showed no endocrine abnormalities or other medications that could have caused it.

Her husband, however, was using a testosterone cream for testicular dysfunction at that time. The woman asked her husband to stop using the cream. He did, "and the hair growth stopped worsening within days," the researchers said. The second case was that of a healthy middle-aged man who was not taking any medications but suddenly developed enlargement of one breast. Clinical tests were normal, the researchers said, "and the physician was completely baffled until he learned that the patient's wife was using a cream containing estrogen for menopausal symptoms. He asked the wife to use the cream in the morning rather than in the evening, and the husband's breast enlargement rapidly subsided." (The Lancet, 2:27:88.)
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Publication:Nutrition Health Review
Date:Jan 1, 1989
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