Antidepressant medication is one of the treatments offered to people who are depressed. But just like other medical drugs, depression medication has its own risk of side effects. Starting from nausea, weight gain, to insomnia. Other side effects of antidepressants that are also common are a decrease in sexual arousal. So, how do you deal with the side effects of this antidepressant drug?
List of antidepressant drugs that cause side effects to decrease sex drive
Basically, all types of antidepressant drugs can cause sexual problems. But the side effects of certain types of drugs are stronger than others.
Some of the following antidepressants are reported to be most at risk of causing a decrease in libido and sexual problems:
- Citalopram (calexa)
- Duloxetine (cymbalta)
- Escitalopram (Lexapro)
- Paroxetine (Paxil and Paxil CR)
- Fluoxetine (Prozac)
- Sertaline (Zoloft).
- Venlafaxine (Effexor XR)
- Desvenlafaxine (Pristiq, Khedezla)
- Nortriptyline (Pamelor)
- Clomipramine (Anafranil)
- Isocarboxazid (Marplan)
- Phenelzine (Nardil)
- Tranylcypromine (Parnate)
How can depression medication reduce sexual arousal?
The decrease in sexual arousal can be experienced by men and women who are undergoing antidepressant drug therapy.
Most prescription antidepressants are part of a family of drugs called SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors). SSRI drugs work to increase serotonin levels in the body, giving rise to feelings of calm, relaxation and happiness.
On the other hand, this relaxation effect can reduce arousal because it blocks the work of hormones that function to cause our bodies to respond to sexual stimuli. As a result, in addition to decreasing sexual arousal, you may also be able to experience erectile problems (difficult erections and maintain them), difficulty orgasm, vaginal dryness, to discomfort during sex.
The severity of side effects experienced by each person can be different, depending on the general health condition and type and dosage of the drug used. For some people, these sexual side effects are only mild and can improve as their body adjusts to treatment. For others, these side effects can continue.
Then how do you manage the side effects arising from this antidepressant drug?
1. Lower the dose or change the medication
With a note, don't arbitrarily change the dosage yourself. You should consult with your doctor before changing the dose. It is the doctor who can determine to what extent your dose of medicine can be lowered without disrupting its effectiveness.
Usually after the dose is lowered, you will be monitored for one week ahead with the new dose to see the effectiveness of the drug and other side effects.
If there is no change, consult the doctor again to ask to change the type of medication. Antidepressant drugs with minor sexual side effects include: bupropion, mirtazapine, vilazodone, and vortioxetine.
2. Consider the time of use
When taking medication, it turns out to have an effect on overcoming unwanted side effects. For example, if your dosage is only taken once a day, drink it after you have sex with your partner. This method might make sex less spontaneous, but there are also benefits to try to schedule sex with him to adjust to the risk of side effects of your medication.
3. Perlama foreplay time
SSRI drugs don't actually affect libido, only your passion for sex. That is, the penis can still erect and the vagina can still be wet, but you don't have enough motivation to achieve it.
Well, this can be overcome by prolonging the time foreplay to continue to build passion. For example by hugging, joint masturbation, kissing, petting (swiping genitals), using sex toys, clitoral stimulation by hand, to oral sex. In essence, do whatever activities you and your partner like to increase passion. Some sex positions can also help you build intimacy with your partner.
4. Take additional drugs
Another solution is to take other additional drugs that can specifically improve sexual dysfunction. Reported on the Mayo Clinic page, a choice of drugs that can improve sexual function including such as sidenafil (Viagra), tadalafil (Cialis) or vardenafil (Levitra). This method certainly requires consultation with a doctor who understands your health condition.
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