SSRI Anti-Depressants. Do they lower/eliminate your sex drive?

KnK KnK
I'm looking for answers by people that have either taken anti-depressants in the past or are on them now. I'm curious, how it's affected your libido. All answers are private, but if you feel comfortable answering, please feel free to do so.

Thanks
Answers (private voting - your screen name will NOT appear in the results):
No change in libido. It stayed about the same.
10  (18%)
Decreased my sex drive a little
16  (29%)
My sex drive died completely
13  (23%)
My libido increased a little
2  (4%)
My libido skyrocketed
The notorious OTHER
15  (27%)
Total votes: 56
Poll is closed
12/04/2010
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KnK KnK
I've actually been on an anti-depressant on and off lately. I'm hesitant, even though it's hereditary so it's just how I am. I noticed my sex drive actually went up a little lately, but I think it might not be all the medication. I think it might partially be because things started going better for me.
12/04/2010
ZenaidaMacroura ZenaidaMacroura
I've tried a couple of antidepressants in the past. Lexapro and Prozac, I think were the only ones. They both lowered my sex drive quite a bit. Didn't kill it completely, but definitely messed it up. It was worth it to not feel like a nut anymore, but it sucked.
12/04/2010
Darkestraven Darkestraven
I am on Paxil now and that did not change my libido at all. when I first started on an anti-depressant (almost a year ago) i was on lexapro and that lowered my libido. my husband though is also on Paxil and has been for a long time and his sex drive is low. so i think it depends on the person and medication.
12/05/2010
Jobthingy Jobthingy
My libido is fine. Its my memory that is shot. It is horrible. I take Effexor for anxiety and I really think i need to get off it.
12/05/2010
onehotmomma onehotmomma
I have taken Prozac in the past, and it lowered my sex drive a little bit, but instead of having no sex drive, I'd not want anything to do with sex for a few weeks,and then I'd want it all the time, to the point where I'd get really frustrated and cranky that my bf had to work at night and I'd cry lol.

On Paxil which is the more recent one I've taken, nothing happened.

My first serious bf I had was on anti depressants, and he had to switch medicines because he would never be able to have an orgasm, he'd get hard and be hard for hours on end, I can't remember what drug it was he was taking.
12/05/2010
Chilipepper Chilipepper
Was on Zoloft before, and going to be again. My libido seemed to be the same ... but it would be nice if it picked up a bit when I start on it again, as my libido is dead at the moment. Hard to review toys when you don't have any interest in using them.
12/05/2010
Tori Rebel Tori Rebel
I used to take Paxil and while it didn't change my sex drive, it made it almost impossible to orgasm. I was taking it in combination with Xanax for anxiety and now take only the Xanax, which has no side effects for me and manages at least 90% of the anxiety issues. I'd rather have 10% of the symptoms and issues remain and still be able to orgasm, personally.
12/05/2010
Kayla Kayla
As a Psych student, I thought I'd just throw in my two cents though I've never been on anti-depressants. It's totally normal for SSRI's to kill your sex drive; it's an unfortunate side effect of them. However, different medication effects people differently, and if the first one kills your sex drive and it's bothering you, there are different types of SSRIs that work differently on people, so you can go into your doctor and try out another one (or a lower or higher dose)

Some SSRIs also make people anorgasmic which is probably more frustrating. Then you can get aroused but you won't be able to (or have a ridiculous time) attempting to orgasm. Again, trying new medication can help. It's a pain in the ass to change medication sometimes, but sooner or later, you'll find one that works with your body.
12/05/2010
KnK KnK
Quote:
Originally posted by Kayla
As a Psych student, I thought I'd just throw in my two cents though I've never been on anti-depressants. It's totally normal for SSRI's to kill your sex drive; it's an unfortunate side effect of them. However, different medication ... More
Oh, nice another psych major.

I'm aware that's it's normal, but I'm inquisitive and I was curious about other people's firsthand experience.

I've taken a psychopharmacology class, but since I'm still in undergrad, it was more or less a crash course. :/ I still have the text for that class because I find it incredibly useful for reference.

I've been doing a lot of research on SSRIs as of late, but before this discussion, I'd never heard of it making orgasms impossible for some people. That's horrible.
12/05/2010
KnK KnK
Quote:
Originally posted by Jobthingy
My libido is fine. Its my memory that is shot. It is horrible. I take Effexor for anxiety and I really think i need to get off it.
I didn't know SSRIs could affect memory. I know that some can make you extremely drowsy. I've been on sertraline (aka Zoloft) twice. The first time I had a hard time staying awake in class. The second time I was put on it and didn't realize sertaline was the same thing as Zoloft and I took it at night. I have no idea how, but taking it at night made me an insomniac. I'm currently on citalopram the off-brand of Lexapro and it makes me sleepy if I take it in the morning. I've been taking it on and off. Taking it at night seems to work better, but unfortunately, I forget a lot.
12/05/2010
Darkestraven Darkestraven
i didnt know that either about them affecting memory i do know that seroquel makes you extremely sleepy and abnormally hungry. my husband was on it before paxil and he would get so hungry he ate mayo on bread and nothing else.
12/05/2010
Jobthingy Jobthingy
Quote:
Originally posted by KnK
I didn't know SSRIs could affect memory. I know that some can make you extremely drowsy. I've been on sertraline (aka Zoloft) twice. The first time I had a hard time staying awake in class. The second time I was put on it and didn't ... More
oh it is brutal. I forget everything. I have to schedule everything in my blackberry. something as silly as picking up bread or stopping at the bank. if i have to call someone, i have to put it in there also. I will forget.
12/06/2010
Taylor Taylor
I've been on 3 different anti-depressants. They all sort of had the same effect on my sex life. I had about the same desire, but I could not for the life of me have an orgasm. After awhile I decided that orgasms help with my depression better than the anti-depressants do and have a lot few side effects than I was having so I just ended up going off them.

I take st johns wort, which is supposed to help with depression, but I don't know if it actually does or not.
12/06/2010
Hot'n'Bothered Hot'n'Bothered
If it weren't for kids who refuse to sleep, I'd say that my drive would have increased.
12/14/2010
~LaUr3n~ ~LaUr3n~
I was on them as a teen and young adult so this was quite a few years ago. I remember that they gave me a flattened affect so yea...it would decrease sex drive a bit.
12/14/2010
Airen Wolf Airen Wolf
Quote:
Originally posted by KnK
I'm looking for answers by people that have either taken anti-depressants in the past or are on them now. I'm curious, how it's affected your libido. All answers are private, but if you feel comfortable answering, please feel free to do so.

Thanks
My libido skyrocketed into the scary range but my ability to orgasm dropped to nothing so I was left frantic for release and no relief in sight. I really was afraid, confused and oh so willing to cheat just in an effort to orgasm. If you've read anything from me you know how strongly I feel about cheating and I was a total mess, plus the drugs did nothing for the depression.
I felt like I was in a spiral out of control and when I opened up to my female doctor she very coldly looked at me and said "All anti depression medications have some risk of sexual side effects, you live with it or live with the depression." I was dismissed as a stupid, fat, lazy housewife who SHOULD have no libido. It wasn't any concern for her being all 6 foot tall and thin as a rail! Hell SHE had four kids and was a DOCTOR my 'little' problem was just stupid to contemplate.
I left her office and never went back, dropped the medication like a bad habit and began to deal with the real issues causing my depression.
Now I am not against SSRI but my family has a weird metabolic reaction to most drugs that alter the body chemistry/mind chemistry. My grandfather would hallucinate so badly on any form of anethesia that he had to be restrained! So in the end it was just not worth the trauma for me to remain medicated...plus it was denial of my sex drive that was causing the depression partially. The medication put that in the forefront and forced me to deal with it. Not all people can 'deal' with their depression or live with it and I respect that. I would never tell someone they were weak and to just deal with their issues. For me it was an emotional issue coupled with a hormonal insuficiency not a problem drug therapy, alone, could help!
I was on Depakote, Effexor and Paxil...all had the same effect of making me feel crazier not better. I was being treated for manic depression. Wrong diagnosis which my GP corrected very quickly as hypothyroidism severe enough to make me homicidal. I must stay on my synthroid or I get really really unstable.
12/14/2010
Xavier7 Xavier7
Quote:
Originally posted by KnK
I'm looking for answers by people that have either taken anti-depressants in the past or are on them now. I'm curious, how it's affected your libido. All answers are private, but if you feel comfortable answering, please feel free to do so.

Thanks
I don't know. I'm on a generic of Cymbalta, and my libido hasn't really shown a difference. Depending on which drug you are taking, your change in libido might differ. I don't really know much about the subject.
01/03/2011
Confusedxfreak Confusedxfreak
It lowers my husband's sex drive hes on Paxil, but regarding sex we came up with a plan that works for the both of us.
01/30/2011
Eden C. Eden C.
I take Prozac, and although my sex drive is quite low, I don't mind. It has improved my life all around, so the loss of sex is not so bad.
03/21/2011
P'Gell P'Gell
Quote:
Originally posted by KnK
I'm looking for answers by people that have either taken anti-depressants in the past or are on them now. I'm curious, how it's affected your libido. All answers are private, but if you feel comfortable answering, please feel free to do so.

Thanks
It depends on the antidepressant.

With Prozac and one of the tricyclics I had a hard time coming. But, with Prozac, I was very horny, but had a hard time getting there. I got off it it and onto something else. A few dulled my sexual appetite (but I first went on them for pain control and PPD, so my drive was messed up anyway.)

As of the last 10 years or so, I've been on Zoloft and have had NO problems with the drive department, and I know it hasn't caused any orgasm problems. (But, perimenopause has caused orgasm problems.)

For me, every one was different. You have to find one you can live with. It took me about 10 or more tries with different meds before I found one that worked on the depression and the pain and didn't effect my sex drive or my ability have a climax.

I have had great success with Zoloft, but that doesn't mean everyone will.

Depakote made me hallucinate, too, Airen. Horrible stuff, IMO.
03/21/2011
SexyStuff SexyStuff
I haven't taken any, but I know that being depressed lowers my libido so it seems like a lose-lose
03/24/2011
tigerkate tigerkate
I have been on just about every SSRI and SNRI on the market. None of them changed my libido much. Some had worse side effects than others, though. And everyone's chemistry is different.

The thing that I can say DID change my sex drive finally was going on birth control. It lowered it- but that was an okay thing because I have PCOS and my testosterone is 3x the normal amount for a woman. It made me a masturbating machine


Now... Worst effects from anti-depressants:
Lexapro: slept 15 hours out of the day, felt like a total zombie. Still masturbated though I didn't have a partner at the time.

While on Wellbutrin, I went into total hallucination mode and had no clue that other people couldn't hear or see what I did. I had tracers (rainbow trails following my hand if I waved it in front of my face), and I had a cricket that followed me around chirping in my ear. It made me extremely irritable, too.



But, I see that you posted you're taking it on and off... Antidepressants have to build up in your system to actually work well, so you should give it at least a month before quitting it.
And sure all meds have side effects, but I was told by my current neuro-psychiatrist that if I have all of these side effects that means I am not on the right medications.
(My current doc said that I was the worst, mis-medicated case he's worked with. I was at one point on a cocktail of 5 different meds, crying all the time at random for no specific reason, hearing things, and just a total miserable insomniac.)
03/24/2011
KnK KnK
Quote:
Originally posted by tigerkate
I have been on just about every SSRI and SNRI on the market. None of them changed my libido much. Some had worse side effects than others, though. And everyone's chemistry is different.

The thing that I can say DID change my sex drive ... More
I have been taking it on and off, but I stopped taking it because I was on birth control and SSRI, and together, they completely fucked up my sleep schedule. I couldn't take it anymore! I'd feel exhausted, but I had problems falling asleep and staying asleep. By the time I fell asleep, I couldn't get up.

If I ever get back on either one, I think I need to reconsider my options. I'll have to do some research on that. :/
03/24/2011
Envy Envy
I tried Paxil and it killed everything. I haven't been on any other anti deps since, I probably should try another brand soon, but right now I'm on generic for Xanax which is an anti anxiety med. No effects on libido with that one.

But it's the main reason I shy away from anti deps, I already have a low libido, I don't want it gone completely.
03/24/2011
PiratePrincess PiratePrincess
I was on Zoloft for a year for anxiety and stress and during that time I wanted almost nothing at all. Ever. As soon as I went off them, my sex drive came back up. Not completely, as I am still on birth control for cramps and that decreases my libido as well, but it was much much higher than nothing.
03/24/2011
chidoll chidoll
Quote:
Originally posted by KnK
I'm looking for answers by people that have either taken anti-depressants in the past or are on them now. I'm curious, how it's affected your libido. All answers are private, but if you feel comfortable answering, please feel free to do so.

Thanks
I was on them for a year about ten years back. I've always been highly sexual and even more highly creative. I write, paint, draw, sculpt - you name it. But when I was on anti-depressants? Nothing. I basically curled up on the couch and counted breathing as my greatest achievement. I had zero libido, zero ability to create. It took me a couple of years even after getting off of the pills to get back to where I was. Never again. I know that anti-depressants are wonderful and life-saving for some people, but not me. I'd rather handle the downswings unmedicated than exist like that.
04/16/2011
CandidKinkster CandidKinkster
Quote:
Originally posted by KnK
I'm looking for answers by people that have either taken anti-depressants in the past or are on them now. I'm curious, how it's affected your libido. All answers are private, but if you feel comfortable answering, please feel free to do so.

Thanks
I've been on SSRIs on and off since my mid-teens. (I'm in my mid-30s now).

I found that some medications decrease my sex drive significantly, while others only reduce it a little bit. While on one, I was unable to achieve orgasm at all, even while masturbating. Thankfully, I found one that slightly reduces my libido, but allows me to cum rather easily.

Great question!
04/16/2011
zeebot zeebot
Totally killed my libido, yeah.
04/17/2011
charcat charcat
I've been on SSRIs my whole life. Like, since I was 6. So I technically can't answer this question. However, I will say that I definitely have a decent sex drive but orgasming is REALLY difficult for me. However I can't tell you whether the SSRIs had anything to do with it. I will say this, though: without them, I'd be too depressed to even THINK about sex so I figure it's worth it...
05/08/2011
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