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Author Topic: ssri's and sex  (Read 574 times)

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Offline joe2014

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ssri's and sex
« on: June 19, 2014, 10:47:25 AM »
Hi - Never have taken ssri's before but am seriously considering it. I'm a married guy and just wondering about the sexual side effects?  And what might be done about them if I do get the side effects. Thanks.
Joe
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Offline abigailb

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Re: ssri's and sex
« Reply #1 on: June 19, 2014, 11:48:03 AM »
I'm a woman, but I've found on mine (Celexa) I get aroused more easily, but it's more difficult to have an orgasm. I have an appointment with my doctor in a few weeks and I'm planning to ask her about it then. I'm not sure what to do!
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Offline Never-Quit

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Re: ssri's and sex
« Reply #2 on: June 19, 2014, 12:05:01 PM »
Hi - Never have taken ssri's before but am seriously considering it. I'm a married guy and just wondering about the sexual side effects?  And what might be done about them if I do get the side effects. Thanks.
Joe

Hi Joe,

Great Question! 

The Million Dollar Question - SSRI and Sexual Side Effects!

Here is my  :twocents: Two Cents - Having been on about 10-12 different AD and many of the SSRI, over 30 years...

1)  SSRI and most AD's I have tried have had - Insidious Sexual Side Effects - as soon as the market is able to make an effective SSRI without the sexual side effects - I will be the first one to be on it!

2)  Some SSRI, will have more or less sexual side effects, for me, PAXIL killed my sexual life to zero :sick0002:  Less sexual side effects with Celexa and Prozac - but as we get older these side effects are serious enough  :angry:

3)  I have tried, almost everything legal, to offset SSRI sexual side effects with very little luck  :(

4) Many people, that I personally know, have stopped taken SSRI and AD for THIS VERY REASON - Sexual Side Effects, those of who have more serious concerns - Panic Disorder, Serious GAD, OCD like myself will tolerate these sexual side effects to get the benefits from the SSRI. 

My thought is how often do I have sexual activities?  VS.  How often do I have Panic Attacks, GAD, OCD - that was easy trade-off for me.  But, for the young and/or married, it will be more difficult.

Joe,

Just a thought, I looked at your previous posts, and it appears anxiety is the main theme, -  IMHO - I would consider trying a Benzodiazepines first, before an SSRI.  Benzodiazepines are usually absent from these sexual side effects.

If you are concerned about the safety of Benzodiazepines there are several current posts going on, which you may find helpful.


Hope, this was helpful  :action-smiley-065:





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Offline joe2014

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Re: ssri's and sex
« Reply #3 on: June 19, 2014, 12:38:19 PM »
Thanks for getting back to me. I'm not sure what to do. Benzos are very addictive. That's what scares me with them. And I'm not sure if this is correct but even if some stop ssri's can the sexual side effects remain? Thanks again.
Joe
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Offline Never-Quit

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Re: ssri's and sex
« Reply #4 on: June 19, 2014, 01:07:22 PM »
Thanks for getting back to me. I'm not sure what to do. Benzos are very addictive. That's what scares me with them. And I'm not sure if this is correct but even if some stop ssri's can the sexual side effects remain? Thanks again.
Joe

Hi Joe,

I agree - you should educate yourself and do only what is comfortable for you, many people having conflicting opinons on Benzodiazapines, (kind of like a Gun Control or any other subject). 

But, you are IN Control - and You need do what is best for you, and what is the best tool to get the job done.

Fear - need to be confronted in order for us to have the real freedom to choose, :yes:

There is a current Post you will want to take a look at: Re: When does it become a dependency on Xanax? Paranoid Doc reducing my prescription

We are now finding out that SSRI and ADs  have the same issues with "Dependency"  - also keep in mind, that there is a big difference between "Addiction vs. Dependency".

Again, as always, once you get the best information, make sure to clear it through your Doctor.  :action-smiley-065:

To answer your question - if sexual side effects remain after you stop using SSRI, is still being studied, most cases the sexual side effects seem to disappear - but, that is a good question :grinning-smiley-003:

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Offline Never-Quit

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Re: ssri's and sex
« Reply #5 on: June 19, 2014, 06:34:29 PM »
Hi Joe,

Here is a link to a current post about Benzodiazepines - dependency and safety you may want to take a look at:

http://www.anxietyzone.com/index.php/topic,89460.msg499321.html#msg499321

The more information - more choices you could make for your own health and mental well-being.  :happy0151:
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Re: ssri's and sex
« Reply #6 on: June 19, 2014, 10:56:27 PM »
Benzos are very addictive.

Pharmaceutical benzodiazepines (BZDs) are rarely truly addictive, however, if taken regularly for more than a month or two they will probably create a physical dependence, as will antidepressants, some of which can be at least as hard to quit as BZDs. What is the difference between addiction and dependence? Well very few people on BZD will continue to take these meds in the face of almost certain death as the patients addicted to a common pain killer did in this study (and I bet you never though it was potentially addictive).

BTW-you're already dependent on the small quantities of natural BZDs, which include diazepam (Valium) and lorazepam (Ativan) found in all foods. In fact so dependent that if you were able to eat a BZD free diet your would soon begin the experience unrelenting seizures and eventually die. Fortunately, this is virtually impossible.

That said, IMHO, BZDs are not good primary, taken daily meds for anxiety because of the uncertainty of getting prescriptions for them in the future as more and more doctors succumb to benzophobia.
 
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And I'm not sure if this is correct but even if some stop ssri's can the sexual side effects remain?

While there are anecdotal claims that the effects continue, there is no physical mechanism which would account for this that I'm aware of, so I suspect any ongoing issues are being driven by other factors, probably mostly psychological.

Ian
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NOTE: I'm not a doctor, and particularly not yours, so there may be factors I'm unaware of. Therefore all advice is of a general nature and you should consult your doctor before following any of it, especially before changing med doses.

Offline joe2014

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Re: ssri's and sex
« Reply #7 on: June 20, 2014, 07:20:30 AM »
So would you say that in your opinion benzos are preferable to ssri's? Are there less sexual side effects with benzos? Thanks.
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Offline ShawnW

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Re: ssri's and sex
« Reply #8 on: June 20, 2014, 07:36:46 AM »
Benzos are very addictive.

Pharmaceutical benzodiazepines (BZDs) are rarely truly addictive, however, if taken regularly for more than a month or two they will probably create a physical dependence, as will antidepressants, some of which can be at least as hard to quit as BZDs. What is the difference between addiction and dependence? Well very few people on BZD will continue to take these meds in the face of almost certain death as the patients addicted to a common pain killer did in this study (and I bet you never though it was potentially addictive).

BTW-you're already dependent on the small quantities of natural BZDs, which include diazepam (Valium) and lorazepam (Ativan) found in all foods. In fact so dependent that if you were able to eat a BZD free diet your would soon begin the experience unrelenting seizures and eventually die. Fortunately, this is virtually impossible.

That said, IMHO, BZDs are not good primary, taken daily meds for anxiety because of the uncertainty of getting prescriptions for them in the future as more and more doctors succumb to benzophobia.
 
Quote
And I'm not sure if this is correct but even if some stop ssri's can the sexual side effects remain?

While there are anecdotal claims that the effects continue, there is no physical mechanism which would account for this that I'm aware of, so I suspect any ongoing issues are being driven by other factors, probably mostly psychological.

Ian

I can't agree with that.  Benzo's are as addictive as any other mood altering substance in those genetically hard wired for addiction.  I know many primary benzo addicts.  I have treated many primary benzo addicts.  I heard some doc talking nonsense about how you can't get addicted to klonopin.  Rubbish.  I see it every day.  Everyone taking benzo's long enough will become physically dependent upon them.  Coming off them cold turkey can lead to death.  But, in about 10% of the population benzos will also trigger that OCD compulsion to use and alter themselves.  They won't just become dependent they will become addicted to it.  Xanax being the worst of the bunch.  They will abuse it, mix it with other chemicals, crush and snort, come up short monthly, go to the streets to buy, give up house, home and family to use.  Not to mention that there is cross addiction potential with benzo's as well.  So, if you have someone in recovery from alcoholism and you tell them hey benzo's are safe and nonaddictive and they use them, well one of two things will happen.  They will begin abusing the benzo or they will go back to the alcohol...possibly both.  There is much bad information on the internet.  There are some horrific practices supported by pseudoscience and poorly constructed studies.
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My insight, thoughts, experiences or advice that may be posted in this forum are not meant as a substitution for the advice of your physician.

Want to know how to address your anxiety?
http://www.anxietyzone.com/index.php/topic,93402.msg521266.html#msg521266

Offline dbirm77

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Re: ssri's and sex
« Reply #9 on: June 20, 2014, 07:44:34 AM »
When I first started taking Lexapro, my sex drive was non-existant but to be fair at that point my anxiety levels were so high, I wasn't 'in the mood' much of the time anyway. After about a week it went away, and my sex drive is back. My anxiety is still there....but my wife is happy that at least our sex life is back to normal.

Good luck,

Drew
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Expect.....anxiety to come.
Accept.....anxiety and all it's sensations.
Ask.........anxiety for more!

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Re: ssri's and sex
« Reply #10 on: June 20, 2014, 08:20:34 AM »
I have treated many primary benzo addicts.

Really? How many epileptics have you treated for primary benzodiazepine addiction? Thousands? Hundreds? Or none like Heather Ashton who supposedly ran the world's first BZD detox centre for 12 years during the very period when many epileptics were being switched to the then new non BZD anti seizure meds, yet never treated a single one as far as I've been able to establish. Given the high doses prescribed to control seizures, typically 10-20mg/day of Klonopin, you'd think they'd all become addicts if what you claim is correct.

Quote
They will abuse it, mix it with other chemicals, crush and snort, come up short monthly, go to the streets to buy, give up house, home and family to use.

Nonsense. I don't know any authoritative source, either the FDA, the CDC, or even anti benzo zealots such as Ashton who make such claims. In fact she has often made it clear that abuse is the rare exception, that very few taking prescribed BZDs increase the dose. BZD abuse is almost always a part of polydrug abuse, usually in association with opioids. Illicit drug abusers use them to boost the effects of opiates, including especially methadone, to dampen the over stimulation of cocaine highs, or to ease withdrawal symptoms.

Ian
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NOTE: I'm not a doctor, and particularly not yours, so there may be factors I'm unaware of. Therefore all advice is of a general nature and you should consult your doctor before following any of it, especially before changing med doses.

Offline joe2014

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Re: ssri's and sex
« Reply #11 on: June 20, 2014, 08:38:40 AM »
While I don't know much about the prescibed use of benzos and addiction. I do know that it is a fact that many opioid abusers also abuse benzos. Let me ask a ? Do benzo users need to increase dosage to maintain the same effect, like opioid users do?
Thanks
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Re: ssri's and sex
« Reply #12 on: June 20, 2014, 08:39:37 AM »
So would you say that in your opinion benzos are preferable to ssri's? Are there less sexual side effects with benzos? Thanks.

Yes, in terms of their impact on sexual side-effects the benzodiazepines are preferable to the SSRIs. However, overall antidepressants are the better choice.

If this is a make or break issue for you then you should consider taking trazadone (Desyrel) which uniquely among the antidepressants can be a libido enhancer. It also often produces fewer of the other common antidepressant side-effects. HOWEVER, at low doses it is highly sedating which can make life difficult until you get up to the high antidepressants doses, usually 225mg plus where sedation diminishes. The new slow-release formulations also moderate the sedation by keeping plasma levels at a constant high level. See: Mechanism of Action of Trazodone: a Multifunctional Drug.

Ian
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NOTE: I'm not a doctor, and particularly not yours, so there may be factors I'm unaware of. Therefore all advice is of a general nature and you should consult your doctor before following any of it, especially before changing med doses.

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Re: ssri's and sex
« Reply #13 on: June 20, 2014, 08:42:08 AM »
Do benzo users need to increase dosage to maintain the same effect, like opioid users do?

Most people taking benzodiazepines to treat anxiety disorders actually reduce the dose over time.

Ian
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NOTE: I'm not a doctor, and particularly not yours, so there may be factors I'm unaware of. Therefore all advice is of a general nature and you should consult your doctor before following any of it, especially before changing med doses.

Offline joe2014

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Re: ssri's and sex
« Reply #14 on: June 20, 2014, 08:50:33 AM »
Thank you Ian. I went to my PCP yesterday and he prescribed Zoloft. It still sits at the pharmacy and may stay there. In regards to sexual side effects he told me it just takes longer for him to reach orgasm. He himself has been on ssri's for 14 years.What are your thoughts? Also,  aside from the sexual side effects what are your thoughts on Zoloft? Should I give CBT a chance with no meds at all? Thanks
Joe
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