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.
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.
She then began taking antidepressant medication. Her libido nosedived. She began struggling to orgasm, and sex with her husband of 10 years dwindled to one encounter every few months.
Antidepressants are drugs used for the treatment of major depressive disorder and of other conditions, including some anxiety disorderssome chronic pain conditions off-label useand to help manage some addictions. Partial remission is characterized by the presence of poorly defined residual symptoms. These symptoms typically include depressed mood, anxiety, sleep disturbance, fatigue and diminished interest or pleasure. It is currently unclear which factors predict partial remission.
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.
Yet antidepressants may also impair sexual function. Wait it out. If the medication causing sexual side effects has just been prescribed, wait a while to see if the problems diminish.
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.
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. Just as depression occurs in both genders, sexual side effects from antidepressants affect both men and women.
All too often, this issue is ignored when antidepressants are prescribed by a family physician or general practitioner. Yet sexual side effects are important enough that they should be addressed. Although the focus of most depression treatment is on the alleviation of symptoms commonly associated with depressionsome people are more sensitive to sexual side effects than others in certain types of antidepressant medications. For some people, their sex life may also be just as important as alleviating the symptoms of depression.