How To Cope With And Reduce The Sexual Side Effects Of Antidepressants

How To Cope With And Reduce The Sexual Side Effects Of Antidepressants

Sexual side effects are a common concern for individuals taking antidepressants, impacting both men and women. These effects can include changes in libido, erectile dysfunction, difficulty achieving orgasm, and reduced sexual arousal and satisfaction. Understanding how antidepressants affect sexual health and strategies to mitigate these effects is crucial for individuals managing depression while preserving overall quality of life.

Antidepressants with the fewest sexual side effects include:

Bupropion (Wellbutrin)

Mirtazapine (Remeron)

Vilazodone (Viibryd)

Vortioxetine (Trintellix)

Antidepressant drugs most likely to cause sexual side effects include:

Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) like Celexa, Lexapro, Prozac, Paxil, and Zoloft.

Serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) such as Effexor XR, Pristiq, and Cymbalta.

Tricyclic and tetracyclic antidepressants like Nortriptyline and Anafranil.

Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) like Marplan and Nardil, though Emsam (a MAOI patch) carries a lower risk of sexual side effects.

How to reduce sexual side effects:

If experiencing sexual side effects from antidepressants, your doctor may recommend several approaches:

Monitoring and Patience: Give it a few weeks to see if side effects diminish as your body adjusts to the medication.

Dosage Adjustment: Your doctor may suggest adjusting the dosage to minimize sexual side effects while maintaining therapeutic benefits.

Switching Medications: Switching to an antidepressant with a lower likelihood of causing sexual side effects, such as Wellbutrin, Viibryd, or Trintellix.

Combination Therapy: Adding medications like sildenafil (Viagra) or tadalafil (Cialis) to help counteract antidepressant-induced sexual dysfunction, with caution and under medical supervision.

Communication with Your Doctor: It's crucial to communicate openly with your doctor about any concerns or changes in sexual function to explore the best possible treatment adjustments.


Navigating sexual side effects caused by antidepressants requires a personalized approach under medical guidance. By discussing concerns with your healthcare provider and exploring various treatment options, you can effectively manage depression while minimizing the impact on your sexual health. Patience and open communication are key to finding the right balance between managing symptoms and maintaining overall well-being.

Call to Action:

If you're experiencing sexual side effects from antidepressants, don't hesitate to talk to your doctor. Together, you can find a solution that works best for you. Your sexual health matters, and there are options available to help you manage both your mental health and your quality of life effectively.