A man who claims a painkiller drug ‘turned him gay’ says he plans to stay on the drug because he fears he will ‘go back to being straight’ if he stops using it.
Unemployed Scott Purdy, 23, claims Pregabalin, also known as Lyrica, turned him homosexual and killed his interest in his former girlfriend.
He appeared on ITV’s This Morning today to explain the situation and he also told presenters Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield he had previously been bi-curious in his teens but did not enjoy the experience.
Mr Purdy, who has been on painkillers since breaking his foot in a go-karting accident in 2012, said: ‘All I craved was male attention so I thought it was a bit weird and stopped taking it just in case.
Scott Purdy, pictured, told This Morning he is happy being gay and fears ‘going back to the way he was’ if he stops taking painkiller Pregabalin
Mr Purdy, pictured with his ex, said he dumped her after he noticed ‘my libido for women had gone and I was craving male attention’, adding his attraction for her returned during a brief period when he stopped taking the pill
Mr Purdy told Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield he previously experimented with men in his teens but did not enjoy the experience
‘As soon as that happened my sexual attraction towards my ex-girlfriend went back up and I was more intimate and cuddly and it was normal again. But the pain started building back up and so I started taking Pregabalin again.
‘I’m really happy now I’m back on it and the fear is that if I stop taking it I will go back to who I was and I don’t want to do that.’
‘It’s very confusing to me and right from the start I don’t know whether it was the pill, or whether it just opened me up to be happier, but when I stopped taking it for that short time I was not happy.’
Mr Purdy, who now hopes to find love with a man on dating sites, added: ‘Before the accident I would go out, enjoy life and I had quite a few girlfriends.
‘When I was 16/17 I was a bit curious and there was a lad I knew who was gay. I kissed him but then turned around and thought, “no, this isn’t for me”.
‘I broke my foot in 2012 and up until earlier this year I’ve been on painkillers like Codeine and Tramadol but they started making me feel ill.
‘So I started taking these drugs in early February and after about four or five days I started having feelings.
‘My girlfriend knew I was taking the medication, she knew I was already on quite a few, and although I didn’t say anything at first, I started giving her less cuddles and attention.
Dr Ranj Singh, right, told Mr Purdy the medication could not have turned him gay, but rather reduced his anxiety over ‘what was already there’
The pills Mr Purdy was prescribed, Pregabalin, which he claims have made him gay
Mr Purdy of Louth, Lincolnshire, pictured here with ex-girlfriend Sarah in February 2018
On whether he was offending the LGBT community by claiming painkillers turned him gay, Mr Purdy reiterated he had never had similar feelings before he started using the drug.
He said: ‘I never had any desire for men before this and I never looked upon men like “I want you”.
‘It was so out of the blue, especially as I experimented at a younger age and didn’t want it then.’
He added: ‘I’m not in contact with my family for other reasons so I’ve had no reaction from them. A couple of my friends found it quite bizarre. They do understand it and they don’t.
‘When I put it on Facebook about a week and a half ago I didn’t say the reason why, and everyone was saying they didn’t see it coming and it’s a great shock because it was so out of character.’
CAN PREGABALIN REALLY TURN YOU GAY?
Pregabalin, originally marketed as Lyrica by pharmaceutical giant Pfizer, is a drug used to treat chronic pain, anxiety and epilepsy.
And far from turning someone gay, one doctor has claimed that in some instances the drug can actually decrease any homosexual cravings.
Dr Lawrence Wilson, who claims to have a medical degree from the Centro De Estudios Universitarios Xochicalco, now located in Ensenada, Mexico, suggests that Lyrica may ‘kill homosexual desires’.
Writing on his website, he admitted that he didn’t know why this reaction had been noted by some patients but was adamant that ‘it can’ happen.
Some patients on the drug are also known to suffer problems getting an erection, the NHS says.
Doctors have previously called for a crackdown on the popular painkiller, dubbed the ‘new valium’, over fears it is highly addictive.
Prescriptions have more than doubled since it was licensed in 2011, and it has been linked to scores of deaths and cases of addiction.
The British Medical Association backed a plan earlier this year to make them a class C substance, in the same category as cannabis and tramadol.
This Morning’s Dr Ranj Singh said the drugs could not ‘turn someone gay’ but more likely reduced anxiety in Mr Purdy allowing him to come to terms with his sexuality.
He said: What it probably did was allow you to be able to express what was already there. That’s my professional opinion. It’s allowed you to be your true self.
‘These feelings were probably always there. This has given you permission to be who you are and if you are happy then that is a good thing.’
The doctor, who is also gay, added drugs can have side effects including increasing or reducing sexual desire.
Dr Singh said he would not recommend Mr Purdy take the medication to ‘maintain’ his sexuality and added he may end up ‘not needing it anymore to be happy’.
He added: ‘I’ve been on Pregabalin myself and it did not make me any gayer’.
Pregabalin is manufactured by Pfizer – the pharmaceutical giant which also makes Viagra used to treat sexual dysfunction in men.
A spokesman for Pfizer said: ‘When prescribed and administered appropriately as per the approved label, Lyrica® (pregabalin) is an important and effective treatment option for many people living with chronic neuropathic pain, generalised anxiety disorder and epilepsy.
‘The clinical effectiveness of this medicine has been demonstrated in a large number of robust clinical trials among thousands of patients living with these conditions.
‘To date, the worldwide exposure to pregabalin is an estimated 34 million patient years.
‘If you are taking a medicine and experience any unexpected side effects, we recommend that you immediately report these to your doctor or to another healthcare professional, such as a nurse or carer.
‘The Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) can also be contacted through its Yellow Card reporting system (https://yellowcard.mhra.gov.uk/).
‘Patient safety is, and will always be, Pfizer’s utmost priority.
‘We work with regulatory authorities around the world to continuously evaluate and monitor safety for each and every Pfizer medicine through ongoing clinical research, analysis and surveillance.’