Dealing with gynecomastia of any cause can be distressing, but when necessary medications are at the root of this condition, it can be particularly difficult. Several drugs are known to cause gynecomastia (breast enlargement in males), and what makes this form of gynecomastia so troublesome is that even with treatment, if the medication is continued, results are typically temporary. This blog will look at the drugs that can lead to gynecomastia, options to treat the condition, coping strategies, and how to determine if switching to a different medication is an option.

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What Is Gynecomastia?

Gynecomastia is characterized by the development of enlarged breast tissue in men and can adversely affect their self-esteem and quality of life. While gynecomastia can have various causes, medication-induced hormonal changes that lead to the condition it can make the condition challenging to correct.

Understanding Gynecomastia Caused by Medication

This form of gynecomastia occurs because certain medications can disrupt the body’s hormonal balance and lead to the development of excess breast tissue in males.

Understanding the medications that can contribute to gynecomastia and learning how to cope with its effects is essential for those affected to navigate their condition with confidence and resilience. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore medication-induced gynecomastia, its causes, coping strategies, and available treatment options to help individuals manage this challenging condition.

Which Medications Can Cause Gynecomastia?

Medications known to contribute to gynecomastia include:

Hormonal Therapies

Drugs containing estrogen or testosterone, such as hormone replacement therapy (HRT) or anabolic steroids, can disrupt the delicate balance of hormones in the body, leading to gynecomastia.


Medicines that block the effects of testosterone, such as some prostate cancer treatments and medications for hair loss, can indirectly stimulate breast tissue growth.

Heart Medications

Drugs used to treat heart conditions, such as calcium channel blockers and digoxin, have been linked to gynecomastia in some cases.

Anti-Anxiety Medications

Some anti-anxiety medications, including selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and benzodiazepines, have been associated with gynecomastia as a rare side effect.


Certain antidepressants, particularly tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs) and selective serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs), may increase the risk of gynecomastia in some individuals.


Many antipsychotics, including haloperidol, fluphenazine, and risperidone, carry the risk of enlarged breast tissue.

Coping Strategies for Medication-Induced Gynecomastia

Dealing with medication-induced gynecomastia can be difficult, but the following strategies can be used to manage the condition:

1. Education and Awareness

Understanding the medications that can contribute to gynecomastia and being aware of the potential side effects can help individuals make informed decisions about their treatment options and seek appropriate medical advice.

2. Open Communication

Talking openly with healthcare providers about concerns regarding medication side effects, including gynecomastia, is crucial. Healthcare providers can offer guidance, support, and potential alternative treatment options to help manage the condition.

3. Lifestyle Modifications

Healthy lifestyle choices, such as a balanced diet and regular exercise, can help minimize the risk of gynecomastia and promote overall well-being.

4. Psychological Support

Coping with gynecomastia can take a toll on mental health and self-esteem. Seeking support from mental health professionals, support groups, or trusted friends and family members can provide emotional support and encouragement during difficult times.

5. Exploring Gynecomastia Treatment Options

In some cases, medication-induced gynecomastia may resolve on its own if the medication causing it is discontinued. However, in many cases, this can be dangerous. Individuals experiencing significant distress or discomfort should talk to their prescribing physician to discuss treatment options such as surgery or hormone therapy to address the condition more effectively.

Treatment for Gynecomastia Caused by Medication

If medication-induced gynecomastia persists despite conservative measures, individuals may explore various treatment options to alleviate symptoms and improve their quality of life:

  • Medication adjustment: In some cases, switching to a different medication or adjusting the dosage of the current medicines may help reduce or eliminate gynecomastia symptoms. Healthcare providers can work with individuals to identify alternative treatment options that minimize the risk of gynecomastia while addressing underlying health concerns.
  • Hormone therapy: Hormone therapy, such as anti-estrogen medications or testosterone replacement therapy, may be prescribed to restore hormonal balance and reduce breast tissue growth in individuals with medication-induced gynecomastia. Hormone therapy should be carefully monitored by healthcare providers to ensure safety and effectiveness.
  • Supportive therapies: Complementary therapies such as compression garments, chest exercises, or physical therapy may help manage symptoms and improve self-confidence for individuals with gynecomastia.
  • Gynecomastia surgery: For individuals with persistent or severe gynecomastia, surgical intervention may be recommended to remove excess breast tissue and achieve a more masculine chest contour. Procedures such as liposuction or glandular excision can help restore a more proportionate and aesthetically pleasing chest appearance.

Are You Dealing With Medication-Induced Gynecomastia?

When gynecomastia is caused by medication, the right knowledge, support, and treatment strategies can help you effectively manage symptoms and improve your quality of life. By understanding the medications that can contribute to gynecomastia, implementing coping strategies to address the condition, and exploring appropriate treatment options with healthcare providers, you can better navigate your condition with resilience and confidence. It’s essential to prioritize self-care, seek support when needed, and advocate for your mental and physical health to maintain your overall well-being throughout your journey with medication-induced gynecomastia.

Gynecomastia Surgery in San Francisco, CA

Call Dr. Delgado’s San Francisco office to schedule a gynecomastia consultation and learn more about your options by calling 415-898-4161.

Dr. Delgado Bio


Dr. Delgado, MD is a world-recognized plastic surgeon and specialist in the treatment of male breast enlargement, also called gynecomastia. He has developed new techniques and owns and operates, which has become the largest gynecomastia forum in the world. Dr. Delgado holds the two most coveted credentials; the certification by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and membership in the American Society of Plastic Surgery.