Beyond Blue

Beyond Blue

Sex on Antidepressants: No Need For Subtitle

r-LOVERS-mediumvariable.jpgAwhile back a reader asked me if I’d cover the topic of intimacy complications with regard to antidepressants.


Ah. Yeah. Every time I write about this controversial topic, I usually get hammered by the left, right, and center–this is obviously delicate ground–so let me tread lightly.

In a recent Johns Hopkins Health Alert called “The Challenge of Antidepressant Medication and Intimacy,” I read this:


While sexual dysfunction is a frequent symptom of depression itself (and successful treatment of depression may eliminate it), antidepressant medication can sometimes worsen or even cause sexual problems. In fact, sexual dysfunction is a potential side effect of all classes of antidepressants.

Between 30% and 70% of people who take antidepressant medications experience sexual problems, which can begin within the first week to several months after starting treatment. Antidepressant-related sexual dysfunction can affect almost any aspect of your sex life. In men, it frequently causes erectile dysfunction (the inability to achieve or sustain an erection), and in women, antidepressants may cause vaginal dryness and decreased sensation in the genitals. In both genders, antidepressants can diminish sex drive and make achieving orgasm difficult or impossible.


Sexual dysfunction due to any cause, including antidepressants, can have effects that range far beyond the bedroom, including psychological distress and a decrease in self-esteem and overall quality of life. This causes many people to stop taking their antidepressant medication. Up to 90% of people who experience antidepressant-related sexual dysfunction stop taking their medication prematurely. Fortunately, you can regain your sex life without stopping your medication and risking your symptoms worsening. For example:

From my research on this topic, psychiatrists usually recommend a few things:

* Switching to an antidepressant like Wellbutrin that has a lower rate of sexual side effects. Or adding Wellbutrin to your current antidepressant because recent research says that small doses of Wellbutrin (75 to 150 mg) in combination with another antidepressant can actually be helpful in decreasing the sexual side effects of those antidepressants.


* Another possibility is adding Viagra into the mix. It has been proven to help BOTH men and women with sexual dysfunction.

* Your doctor may experiment with decreasing your antidepressant ever so slightly, to see if that helps with sexual side effects.

* You could change the time you take your medication. For example, if you usually have sex sometime after dinner but before bed, it would be best to take your meds after sex but before bed, because the blood levels of the drug are going to be lowest the next day after dinner (when you typically have sex).

* Dividing your doses is also a possibility.

* And finally, implementing a “drug holiday” might be an option. That is, not taking your meds for two days or so. According to Karen Swartz, M.D. of Johns Hopkins Mood Disorders Center, “evidence shows that periodic two-day breaks from antidepressant therapy can lower the rate of sexual side effects during the drug holiday without increasing the risk of a recurrence of depressive symptoms.”


My plan? To experiment with a few of these when I reach a more stable place.

I’ve been saying that for about three years, because right as I think I’ve hit even ground and can do a drug holiday or try adding Wellbutrin or go to sex school, something happens and the black dog has my ankle again. So for now, I stay a tad challenged in this area.

Click here to subscribe to Beyond Blue and click here to follow Therese on Twitter and click here to join Group Beyond Blue, a depression support group. Now stop clicking.

  • nillawafer

    those with no insurance can only purchase affordable drugs. the ones that don’t affect sex drive as profoundly tend to be more expensive and free agencies don’t have access to all the different meds. my teen’s three suicide attempts were during a time she forgot or didn’t take her meds for three days. not wise for young people. what do you suggest for people who don’t have access to the mayo clinic or “the best” clinicians?

  • Jarrod@ Optimistic Journey

    The unfortunate part to taking most meds is that there are more sideeffects than there are solutions to the problem. It would be one thing if they were minor side-effects but we’re looking at major side-effects such as sexual dysfunction, high cholesterol or high blood pressure. Thanks for providing such food for thought to so many people! :)

  • Jarrod@ Optimistic Journey

    The unfortunate part to taking most meds is that there are more side-effects than there are solutions to the problem. It would be one thing if they were minor side-effects but we’re looking at major side-effects such as sexual dysfunction, high cholesterol or high blood pressure. Thanks for providing such food for thought to so many people! :)

  • Tony the cretin

    Sex? What is that? Too frequent bouts of depression don’t allow for any relationships. Been a lonely life.
    One of the unsung symptoms of bipolar disorder is hypersexuality. I had that to where I was seriously aroused by any pretty face and couldn’t stop the ensuing dirty thoughts. When I was depressed, that really fueled the guilt. An antidepressant and an antipsychotic have quelled that. I don’t know if that is a therapeutic effect or a side-effect. For now, it has been a benefit. This is just another perspective on the sex vs. medication dialogue.

  • Christian Louboutin Pumps

    Christian Louboutin Pump has draw many women crazy. He expanded the fame of self-shoe – making designer with his own personality charm, and can be absolutely named the most famous shoe making master among those living in this era. From the Jordan’s Queen to Hollywood stars, the royal family and nobles to the fashion people, all women feel crazy when they own a pair of “Red Pumps”! A piece of red stepped on the feet, seduce a man’s sight, a woman’s desire so that Christian Louboutin flushes for twenty years.

  • MK

    Great article and great suggestions. Just a reminder that some anti-depressants will effect your ability to sleep if taken too close to bed time. I had that problem with Wellbutrin. It’s miserable to not feel rested or have to add ANOTHER pill to the mix just because you’d like to get some rest.

  • Crystal

    I take abilify and it has been a lifesaver in so many ways. I am stable now and able to function instead of staying in bed everyday crying. But it has completely killed my sex life. Fortunately my Husband is very understanding but I really miss what we had together. It has been 3 years since I was able to enjoy sex and now it is just painful to me. Anybody got any suggestions for that? I’ve tried the above with the exception of adding wellbutrin but nothing helps. I think of going off my medication but am scared too. There are other side effects also. If anyone has any advice please list it in your comments here. Thank you very much and thank you Therese on another good article.

  • HereticPrincess2725

    That’s very interesting, luckily I haven’t had any problem really with sexual side effects, but the fact that Seroquel is making me super sick…puts a damper on EVERYTHING! :(

  • Anne

    I’m sure that having any sex at all would increase my sex drive and mood. When I am grumpy at school, my students like to remind me that “I just need to get laid!!! Easier said than done. I like the suggestions about taking a meds break, or wellbutrin. Sometimes I do not like to take it because it makes my anxious. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and experiences. It helps. Anne

  • Michaela

    I had this problem with my first antidepressant (lexepro)!
    i was completely anorgamsic, and sex became and incredibly difficult, and often painful enterprise. My partner felt terrible, and even blamed himself for my problems, feeling like he should be able to ‘overcome’ these side effects. This was shocking, and pained me when I found out he’d felt that way.It was also very difficult as a young couple, who are meant to be in our ‘prime,’ to face the possibility this would be as good as it got. So one thing I think was missing from this article, and the comments, was make sure there is a loving, open communication with your partner, or it can cause problems.
    I was able to overcome this however, in two ways.
    Firstly, by a change of antidepressant. This was difficult to explain to friends and family, why I was going through the fairly traumatic process of changing a medication that seemed to be outwardly working, as I was not comfortable telling most of them the real reason. And while my partner was 100% behind me staying on the original medication, I felt this was something it was important to try to improve, for both our sakes.
    For me, it just so happened another common form of antidepressant (Luvox) was as useful for me depressionwise, and did not have those side effects to nearly such an extent. This got me to a place where I could have enjoyable sex, and yet my sex drive was not where it used to be, and it would still take me quite a while to ‘warm up’ to the idea, eradicating the possibility of any ‘spontaneity.’
    However, once I got my excercise routine in shape, that was what really kicked me back up a notch. After facing the prospect of needing to move up a dose, I decided to finally take the time to really plan and maximising my exercise routine to see if it would help. I bought a cross-trainer, and it has just changed my world! from someone who was very anti-cardio, after two weeks of making myself, the switch just flipped and the benefits of the workout were compelling enough to make me happy to get out of bed and work out for 40 minutes a day. the most amazing thing I found though, was other than elevating my mood and acting as the perfect helper to my medication, my sex drive returned with a vengeance :)
    So I would definitely recommend trying other medications if the sexual side-effects are debilitating. Just make sure, as always, to have a good support network around and time it well. And if you have not already made a consistent excercise plan, do so and then stick to it. There will come a time when you won’t be able to go without it, and the benefits will be found in so many areas.

  • Teresa

    I am on Wellbutrin, and I used to have an incredible sex life. I have not had a sex drive in probably 3 or 4 years. My psychiatrist has changed my meds several times, adding Wellbutrin…dropping other antidepressants…increasing Wellbutrin…Nothing has helped! The only suggestion in the blog that I haven’t tried is adding Viagra. Who can afford that?? My depression seems to have gotten better since the last increase in Wellbutrin, but my lack of sex drive is causing my husband to need an increase in HIS antidepressants! I am at the end of my rope.

  • Dorothea Randolph

    You’ve done it once again. Amazing read.

  • kuala

    i have read from an article that low sex drive or low libido i9s caused by hormonal imbalance…do you think that taking anti depressant can affect our hormone that can lead to low sex drive…?…

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment KRESTINA

    Great Odumako i want to appreciate you for helping me get back my lover within 48hours. I must say you are truly a great spell caster so i will advise anybody that needs to get there ex back to contact Great Odumako on

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment miss joy slim

    my name is Miss joy slim, am from
    Russian. my boyfriend Teddy Harrow left me
    for another girl five months ago’ ever since
    then my life have been filled with pains,
    sorrow and heart break because he was my
    first love who dis virgin me when i was 23
    years old about four years ago. A friend of
    mine, Kate Garvin told me he saw some
    testimonies of this greatspellcaster
    that he can bring back my lover within some
    few days. i laugh it out and said i am not
    interested but because of the love my friend
    had for me, she consulted the greatspellcaster
    on my behalf and to my greatest suprise
    after four days my boyfriend called me for
    the very first time after five months that he
    is missing me badly and that he is so sorry
    for every thing he made me went through. i
    still can’t believe it, because it just too real to
    be real.
    Thank you okosodothespellcaster@gmail .com

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment BESTY

    Life can be very displeasing especially when we loose the ones we love and cherish so much. in this kind of situation where one loses his/her soul mate there are several dangers engage in it. one may no longer be able to do the things he was doing before then success will be very scarce and happiness will be rare. that person was created to be with you for without him things may fall apart.
    That was my experience late last year. but thank god today i am happy with him again. all thanks to DR AKPAKPA, i was nearly loosing hope until i saw an article on how DR AKPAKPA could cast a love spell to make lovers come back. There is no harm in trying, i said to my self. i contacted him via email: words will not be enough to appreciate what he has done for me. i have promised to share the good news as long as i live.


  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment peter

    My name is peter I found a great spell caster online who helped me to get back my girlfrinad who has left me for pass two years. We where married for 5years without a child and my friend introduce me to a real spell caster named dr ogboni which i never believe it exist but after the meeting of this spell caster my problem where solved and now i am with my husband who left me for pass two years my life and my entire family are now happy now i have two kids with the help of this great spell caster. Thanks to dr ogboni and i will advice anyone in need of help to contact him with this email

  • http://spellcaster MRS Rhoda

    This is my true life story priest odijie brought back my lover back in just 2days and now we are happily married if you are in any kind of problem with your relationship or in your marriage contact him on his or call his telephone number on +2348140458872 he is very friendly and kindly

  • http://spellcaster mr francis



  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Mrs gab

    Hello, my name is Mrs gab, i want to use this opportunity to share my testimony, ie back late to the house very drunk, then i was very sad cause i have not see him in was marred with a man called Johnson Barry, we have been living happily for the past 6 years no problem, one day when he go out with a friend he cam such manner before, then the next day morning he said he is going to the office, then after some hour later my friend called me i respond to the called she shouted at me that what am i doing at home when my husband is in the hotel room with another woman, i was so shock to here that i trust my husband with all my heart i did not know that he can do a thing like that, later the day when he came back he just change automatically i greeted him he did not respond to my greetings i was lost of hope, after two day later when he came back from work he drove me out of the house with a machete, then i parked out of the house i really, i love my husband with all my life soul and heart, i could not resist it then i went to my friend house to help me beg my husband to allowed me come back but still yet no way, after 8 months i was still thinking of him cause i could not forget him thought on my mind, then i look for a spell caster to help me bring him back but know one want to help me but just to eat up my money, until my friend introduce me to one Dr npitmeh a great spell caster from the accent Paris of Africa, who help me to bring my husband back, when i first met him he told me that my husband will come back to me but i did not believe cause i have tried so many spell caster but know way, he said that he is a different man that he can help me i said okay let me give him a try really after i have done with what he ask me to do my so lovely husband came to my house with his friend begging me for forgiveness i have no choice that to forgive him, ever since then we have be together with love, happiness, trust and so much more, please you need to contact this man cause he is a real spell caster he is great, please his email contact is: please you real need to contact him now.

  • Kay

    I am Kay“My life is back!!! After 14 years of Broken marriage, my husband left me and our two twins . I felt like my life was about to end i almost committed suicide, i was emotionally down for a very long time. Thanks to a spell caster called Dr Aluya which i met online. On one faithful day, as I was browsing through the internet, I was searching for a good spell caster that can solve my problems. I came across alot of testimonies about this particular spell caster. Some people testified that he brought their Ex lover back, some testified that he restores womb,cure cancer,and other sickness, some testified that he can cast a spell to stop divorce and so on. i also come across one particular testimony,it was about a woman called Sonia,she testified about how Dr Aluya brought back her Ex lover in less than 7 days and reverse the effect of their little boys cancer, and at the end of her testimony she dropped Dr. Aluya’s e-mail address. After reading all these,I decided to give Dr Aluya a try. I contacted him via email and explained my problem to him. In just 3 days, my husband came back to me. We solved our issues, and we are even happier than before. Dr Aluya is really a gifted man and i will not stop publishing him because he is a wonderful man… If you have a problem and you are looking for a real and genuine spell caster to solve all your problems for you. Try Dr Aluya anytime, he might be the answer to your problems. Here’s his contact:{}.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Luella

    My Name is Luella Walker from USA. My boyfriend had been gone for about 7 months, I contacted Dr. Dele from other testifiers and within a few minutes of speaking with him, I realized that Dr. Dele spell was the one person whom I could completely trust. I didn’t expect the spell would work so fast. Within 48 hours, my boyfriend was back in my life. I want to express my warmest gratitude to Dr. Dele Spiritual Temple. I’ll never ever forget all the happiness you gave me. I’ll like to share his contact email:

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Freda Silva

    Freda Silva

    I WANT TO THANK Dr ADIDON really does restore what the locust has eaten. The three years we were separated seems like a little blip on the screen. It’s as if we were never apart. i thanks Dr ADIDON every day in his spell for bringing us back together. Dr ADIDON is absolutely correct when he says to get the house ready. I didn’t. My husband had accumulated a lot during his absence. It was months before we got it under control, but we did it without a cross word between us. Praise the Dr ADIDON for restoring my marriage and for bringing back my husband email him

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment nadine

    First of all, Am just short of words i don’t know what to say, am so grateful to Dr ogala for what he has done for me. At first i thought he was a scam like two others that i worked with, but i just decided to contact him then he told me that my lover will be back home within 4days. On the forth day, my husband called me and said he was sorry for the frequent argument and fight, i was so happy that my husband who left me for over 2 years called me. Now we are together he can’t do without me, he always wants me to be by his side and he just bought me a new car. If you want to contact him for help, his email is

Previous Posts

Seven Ways to Get Over an Infatuation
“Bewitched, bothered, and bewildered am I” wrote US songwriter Lorenz Hart about the feeling of infatuation. It’s blissful and euphoric, as we all know. But it’s also addicting, messy and blinding. Without careful monitoring, its wild ...

posted 12:46:43pm Feb. 19, 2014 | read full post »

When Faith Turns Neurotic
When does reciting scripture become a symptom of neurosis? Or praying the rosary an unhealthy compulsion? Not until I had the Book of Psalms practically memorized as a young girl did I learn that words and acts of faith can morph into desperate ...

posted 10:37:13am Jan. 14, 2014 | read full post »

How to Handle Negative People
One of my mom’s best pieces of advice: “Hang with the winners.” This holds true in support groups (stick with the people who have the most sobriety), in college (find the peeps with good study habits), and in your workplace (stay away from ...

posted 10:32:10am Jan. 14, 2014 | read full post »

8 Coping Strategies for the Holidays
For people prone to depression and anxiety – i.e. human beings – the holidays invite countless possibility to get sucked into negative and catastrophic thinking. You take the basic stressed-out individual and you increase her to-do list by a ...

posted 9:30:12am Nov. 21, 2013 | read full post »

Can I Say I’m a Son or Daughter of Christ and Suffer From Depression?
In 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, we read: “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” What if we aren’t glad, we aren’t capable of rejoicing, and even prayer ...

posted 10:56:04am Oct. 29, 2013 | read full post »


Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.