Work on a solution that will address your mental health as well as both of your sexual needs. Never adjust your dosage without speaking with your doctor first. Twelve percent of American adults reported filling an antidepressant prescription in the most recent Medical Expenditure Panel Survey. Just last week, you were tied to a kitchen chair enjoying an amazing albeit rather mournful few minutes of escape through sex. Desire, arousal and orgasm may be affected by changes in function of neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine; the very mechanisms through which SSRIs treat depression. Even with these potential side effects, keep taking your medications for your mental health. Do not stop taking your antidepressants altogether without consulting with your doctor first. If you are experiencing sexual side effects, ask your doctor about switching to a smaller dose.
While natural supplements exist, there is a concern that they may interact with the activity of antidepressants. If you take antidepressants once a day, you may be able to solve the issue by taking your medicine after the time of day you normally engage in sexual intercourse. It is always important to maintain a healthy weight and exercise regularly. These same patients often give up their medications in hopes of having better sex lives. They might also add another prescription medication to supplement your current regimen. Her special interests include tech and innovation in health care. The author is not a licensed medical professional. Except for your sex life, that is. Commonly prescribed SSRIs associated with a high frequency of sexual dysfunction include paroxetine Paxil , sertraline Zoloft and fluoxetine Prozac. Certain antidepressants have a greater incidence of sexual side effects than others. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors SSRIs are the most commonly prescribed antidepressant class. And between 30 percent and 50 percent of individuals taking SSRIs experience sexual dysfunction. Besides exploring the SSRI class, venturing into atypical antidepressant territory is another option. If your dosing schedule makes it tough to pencil in sexual activities, chat with your clinician about changing the time of day you take your meds. Some women benefit from adding the antidepressant aid called bupropion to their medication regime. Patience is key when managing sexual side effects. Sometimes managing your weight or adjusting your exercise routine will give you more energy and desire for sex. Never adjust your dosage without speaking with your doctor first. However, for many people, these additional emotional and physical effects can make the idea of sex less appealing. Laflamme, MD Answers represent the opinions of our medical experts. Even with these potential side effects, keep taking your medications for your mental health. As a general rule, it can take weeks or even months for these side effects to go away. Consider Timing When it comes to sex, timing can be everything. However, it makes sense that higher doses result in an increased risk of sexual side effects. Switch It Up Switching to a different medication, with the support of your prescribing clinician, may make all the difference. Not just for clinical depression, but for all kinds of off-label conditions like chronic pain and insomnia.
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Managing Sexual Side-Effects of Antidepressant Medications
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