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.
Decreased libido disproportionately affects patients with depression. The relationship between depression and decreased libido may be blurred, but treating one condition frequently improves the other. Medications used to treat depression may decrease libido and sexual function.
Developing strategies to predict who may be at the highest risk for adverse changes in their sexual well-being is an important step in improving the quality of life and treatment of patients who require antidepressant therapy. The results of studies investigating genetic variations in drug metabolism enzymes and their relationships to antidepressant-associated adverse effects have been mixed. Continued efforts to characterize the relationships between genetic markers and antidepressant outcomes, and to translate this knowledge to patient care, have the potential to significantly improve the empiric selection of antidepressant agents and to minimize the risk for intolerable side effects.
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 antidepressants, including 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.
The following information is NOT intended to endorse drugs or recommend therapy. While these reviews might be helpful, they are not a substitute for the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgement of healthcare practitioners in patient care. What next?
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.
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