What to do in case your antidepressants are killing your libido


Your doctor should first review your medical history to get an idea of ​​when you started taking the antidepressants, when you started noticing a change in your sex drive, and the different factors that could potentially play a role. in your low libido, such as stressful life changes. , underlying health conditions or other medications or substances you are taking, among others.

Once they have a better idea of ​​all the pieces that could go into this puzzle, here are some steps they can recommend taking if antidepressants seem like the likely culprit:

Give the medicine more time first, if you are open to it.

It won’t be doable for everyone, but if you feel you can overcome some side effects, including low libido, for a bit longer, this is an option worth considering, especially if the medication you’re taking has stabilized other worrisome issues. , like a really depressed mood or unpredictable panic attacks.

« Sometimes it gets better on its own, » says Dr. Streicher, adding that it can take time for your body to get used to a new medication. « When people have been on medication for a while, their body may just adapt over time and sexual desire improves. » It usually takes between two and six weeks after starting a new prescription, she notes. If you’ve been doing it longer than that and still working with a lackluster libido, it might be time to try another game plan.

Adjust the dose of your antidepressants.

If you take a high dose of an antidepressant, you’re more likely to experience decreased sex drive, along with other side effects, that you might not experience with a lower dose of the same antidepressant, says Dr. Streicher . This is a conversation to have with your doctor and definitely shouldn’t be something you do on your own. Your doctor initially prescribed your specific dose for a reason, and reducing it yourself may decrease the effectiveness of your medication, she says.

Consider switching your antidepressants completely.

Remember that some SSRIs seem to have a lower risk of sexual side effects than others, but it will ultimately depend on the individual. « Just because a person has reduced libido with one SSRI doesn’t mean they will have reduced libido with all SSRIs or other antidepressants, » says Dr. Streicher.

All the experts SELF spoke to say they are switching to bupropion– which is not an SSRI but still very effective as an antidepressant – is another option. Dr. Minkin says that bupropion, in his professional experience, has been « the best antidepressant » to switch a patient to if they have libido issues.

Again, it’s in your best interest to be open with your prescribing doctor and follow their lead, given that they know the ins and outs of your medical history. You should Never suddenly stop taking your antidepressants – this can lead to intense anxiety, insomnia, headaches, flu-like symptoms and a rapid return of worrying symptoms of depression, among other side effects. Work with your doctor to adjust the dosage or create a plan to switch your medications safely.

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