Loss of sexual desire and difficulties performing during intimate encounters can be symptoms of depression, but they can also be side effects of many medications used to treat depression. While antidepressants are often integral to managing depression, sexuality is an important piece of a healthy life for many people. Experiencing sexual side effects from antidepressants can be frustrating and disheartening, but there are ways to address them.
Resulting sexual dysfunction can impair quality of life and intimate relationships and discourage patients from taking antidepressants Box 12. Although most reports have focused on SSRIs, all antidepressant classes have been associated with sexual dysfunction, with prevalence likely influenced by differences in neurotransmitter modulation Table 2. A recent study reported similarly high rates with mirtazapine, but its small sample size limits conclusions about side effect prevalence with this drug.
Sexual dysfunction is an underdiscussed adverse effect to selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors SSRIs and may increase the risk for discontinuation and nonadherence to antidepressant pharmacotherapy. Given the prevalence of depression, health care providers should educate patients about SSRI-associated sexual dysfunction in order to promote patient awareness and medication adherence. This study evaluated primary literature from to to identify SSRI-related sexual side effects, therapeutic alternatives, and treatment strategies.
Prozac is an antidepressant sometimes known by its generic name fluoxetine. It is often used to treat major depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder…. The debate over whether antidepressants can really help to tackle depression has been rife.
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The popular medications known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors or SSRIs see box can help lift people out from under a dark cloud of depression. But there are some side effects from antidepressantsincluding those that can affect your sex life. In addition to reducing interest in sex, SSRI medications can make it difficult to become aroused, sustain arousal, and reach orgasm.
Women are two and a half times more likely than men to take an antidepressant medication -- and for manyit's affecting their sex lives. According to a Johns Hopkins health alert30 to 70 percent of people on an antidepressant will experience sexual problems as a side effect. Streicher explained that a low sex drive is a common side effect of Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors, the most commonly prescribed type of antidepressant.
The reported incidence of sexual dysfunction associated with antidepressant medication varies considerably between studies, making it difficult to estimate the exact incidence or prevalence. The sexual problems reported range from decreased sexual desire, decreased sexual excitement, diminished or delayed orgasm, to erection or delayed ejaculation problems. There are a number of case reports of sexual side effects, such as priapism, painful ejaculation, penile anesthesia, loss of sensation in the vagina and nipples, persistent genital arousal and nonpuerperal lactation in women.
Sexual side effects are among the most common complaints about antidepressants. According to the U. Department of Health and Human Services, clinical depression affects 1 in 5 adults in the United States.
The Centre for Adverse Reactions Monitoring CARM continues to receive reports of sexual dysfunction associated with the use of antidepressants and antipsychotics. Sincethe most frequently reported medicines have been fluoxetine 17 reportscitalopram 12paroxetine 7venlafaxine 5risperidone 12 and clozapine 7. Most often this takes the form of lack of libido. Sexual desire tends to improve with treatment of depression; however, successful antidepressant treatment often causes other detrimental effects on sexual function.