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 side effects are common with antidepressants in both men and women, so your concern is understandable. Effects on sexual function can include:. The severity of sexual side effects depends on the individual and the specific type and dose of antidepressant.
While antidepressants help many people enjoy life once again, that enjoyment can come at the cost of one's sex life. That's what's happened to year-old Ana over the past year. Ana, who requested that her last name not be used to preserve her privacy, has been taking Cymbalta, an antidepressant that helps her cope with the struggles she's endured after a recent move to New York City.
For the more than 16 million Americans living with depression, antidepressants are often an option in providing some relief from their symptoms. However, as with any new medication, side effects are common. And that means for some, sex is impossible.
In patients being treated for depression, which antidepressants have a low risk of sexual side effects? Bupropion Wellbutrinnefazodone Serzoneamitriptyline Elaviland moclobemide Manerix, a reversible inhibitor of monoamine oxidase type A not available in the United States have been shown to cause less sexual dysfunction than selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors SSRIs. Information from references 1 through 4.
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.
Here's how to inoculate ourselves against negative ones. Verified by Psychology Today. All About Sex.
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.
An unfortunate irony of depression treatment is that while depression can rob you of your desire for sex, some drugs commonly used to treat it can be just as bad, if not worse. Sexual side effects of antidepressants include low libido, erectile dysfunction, and difficulties with orgasm. Not all of these approaches will work for everyone, so it will likely take some trial-and-error to get your romantic life back to normal.