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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. For some people, sexual side effects are minor or may ease up as their bodies adjust to the medication. For others, sexual side effects continue to be a problem.
Antidepressants with the lowest rate of sexual side effects include:
Antidepressants most likely to cause sexual side effects include:
If you're taking an antidepressant that causes sexual side effects, your doctor may recommend one or more of these strategies:
Stopping medication because of sexual side effects is a common problem, and for most people this means depression returns. Work with your doctor to find an effective antidepressant or combination of medications that will reduce your sexual side effects and keep your depression under control.
If you're pregnant or trying to become pregnant, tell your doctor, as this may affect the type of antidepressant that's appropriate.
Be patient. Everyone reacts differently to antidepressants, so it may take some trial and error to identify what works best for you.
Daniel K. Hall-Flavin, M.D.
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