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Why Do Antidepressant Medications Cause Sexual Side Effects?

Both men and women taking antidepressants sometimes experience sexual side effects. Learn why antidepressants potentially cause sexual side effects, along with information regarding management of the issue.

Antidepressants and Sexual Side Effects

Researchers still conduct studies and pursue other efforts to find out exactly why antidepressants cause sexual side effects. The experts already have some information, such as that revealed in study results published by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in 2010. 

Researchers explain that reported sexual side effects include decreased desire and sexual excitement, diminished or delayed orgasm, loss of sensation, among many other complaints. 

Sexual dysfunction impacts more than just sexual relationships. Researchers indicate that individuals sometimes experience an impact on self-esteem, quality of life and quality of relationships.

Why Antidepressants Cause Sexual Side Effects

The NIH researchers indicate that reports of sexual dysfunction exist, “With virtually all of the antidepressants.” Another study, conducted in 2006, concluded that more than 34 percent of male study participants and 32 percent of women taking antidepressants experienced sexual side effects. Those researchers also concluded, “No clear pattern” related to specific antidepressants.

Researchers believe that elevated serotonin levels contribute to diminished sexual function. Another theory suggests that when serotonin levels increase, dopamine levels decrease, potentially affecting sexual arousal. 

Addressing Sexual Side Effects of Antidepressants

Refusing to take antidepressants due to sexual side effects is not a good solution.

Jon Johnson explains in a Medical News Today article that managing the side effects includes actions such as asking your doctor to lower the dose, switch to another antidepressant medication, and discussing the option of taking a medication that increases sex drive with your physician.

Working with your doctor, there are solutions that potentially help reduce sexual side effects of antidepressants.

If you’re having issues with erectile dysfunction, call the team at Premier Men’s Medical Center now to schedule an appointment to have a consultation with their experienced and specially trained medical staff. We are Fort Lauderdale’s leading premature ejaculation clinic that provides PE therapy, hormone therapy and much more. 

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