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How Do Anti-Depressants Influence Sexual Function?

When we get a new illness we begin to cure it with the help of various medications. But, as we all know, each chemical medication has at least 1 side effect which can lead to another illness. The same is with anti-depressants. Though they are not always prescribed to depressed patients, they are often used and have their own collection of side effects.

The 1990ís have been referred to as the Prozac (anti-depressant) decade. The popularity of anti-depressants became widespread by advertising media coverage. Nowadays their number is increasing, however the glory hasn't come to all of them exactly because of their numerous side effects.

According to clinical research study results: 21% of patients taking Prozac experience nausea, 20% headaches; 15% anxiety and nervousness, 14% insomnia; 12% drowsiness; 12% diarrhea; 9.5% dry mouth; 9% loss of appetite; 8% sweating and tremor; and 3% rash. Furthermore, in studies where sexual side effects were thoroughly evaluated, 43% of men and women taking various antidepressants and 34% taking Prozac reported loss of libido or diminished sexual response.

Sexual disorder is not the least important of all anti-depressats' side effects (if you are not agree - you have serious sexual problems!), so it is the one I'm going to write about. The exact mechanisms that cause erectile dysfunction in the depressed person is not completely understood. Stressors at work or relationship tensions are the most common causes. However, anti-depressants also play a significant role in creating of this problem.

First of all depression itself also causes sexual problems, that's why avoiding of anti-depressants usage won't let you stay Casanova for a long time anyway. Any psychotherapist should know that such anti-depressants as Prozac, Zoloft, Paxil, Celexa, Remeron, Luvox have a bad influence on erectile function and are not recommended for use. Nardil and Pamat are becoming less popular for their serious side effects such as complete blocking of male/female orgasm, for example. Anti-depressants which have the least number of side effects (including sexual ones) are: Elavil, Endep, Tofranil, Norpramin, Pamelor, Vivactil, Surmontil, Sinequan and some others, that's why they are the most popular nowadays.

On the whole people suffering from mental disorder have much more sexual problems than those who don't. In fact, most men in such cases suffer from the increasing of one's libido (!) while women experience the dicreasing of their libido. Sexual dysfunction ( delayed or inability to ejaculate, diminished libido, and impotence) are not uncommon side effects that are associated with the anti-depressants. Sometimes medications such as Wellbutrin or Buspar are used to treat the sexual dysfunction related to anti-depressants. Wellbutrin, Remeron, and Serzone are medications that can be used alone to treat depression and have a very low influence on sexual dysfunction.

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While anti-depressants are not generally regarded addictive, people can and do become dependent on them. Withdrawal from anti-depressants needs to be managed by a physician. Physicians often take two to three weeks gradually decreasing the dosage to minimize or eliminate possible withdrawal effects. In many instances patients return to their physicians after being taken off an anti-depressant because they prefer how they feel on the drug (especially those men, who remembered only one side effect of anti-depressants - the increasing of one's libido!).

Almost forget -- usually, when you stop using anti-depressants your sexual life become normal again (if you've got rid of depression, of course!). That's why don't be afraid to cure your depression, when it passes all its side effects will pass too.

AM.


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