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How Can I Improve My Libido While Taking an Antidepressant? Part 3

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Some individuals prefer to use only an SSRI. However, almost all SSRI have the ability to induce sexual dysfunction. Recently Fluvoxamine (luvox) has been speculated to help individuals with sexual dysfunction. At present Luxol is used to treat OCD and does work well. The drug does maintain sexual function but it has two side effects of concern. When the drug is abruptly discontinued, it can cause withdrawal symptoms of dizziness, fatigue, nausea, vivid dreams, irritability, and headaches. The other problem is that luvox may increase the risk of suicide in young adults and children. Individuals who are depressed have been found to have worsening of depression and suicidal thoughts when taking Luvox. Therefore, at the moment, the drug is rarely prescribed without close supervision.

Some physicians do try an add a psychostimulant to the patient’s regimen to counter the sexual dysfunction. Addition of drugs like Ritalin or methyl phenidate have been shown to work, but often the side effects of anxiety and insomnia also dominate. Further, these drugs have ability to cause physical dependence and cause withdrawal reactions when the drugs are abruptly stopped.

The latest and perhaps the one with the least controversy are Viagra and Tadalafil. Since the availability of Viagra and related drugs, there have been a few studies to see if the sexual dysfunction can be reversed. There have been a few studies which showed that both tadalafil and sildenfail both slightly improved sexual function in individuals who took anti depressants. However, most of the studies included small numbers and long-term data are not available. Anecdotal reports indicate that while Viagra does work, the effects are not sustained in the long run. In any case, Viagra is perhaps the best option for individuals with sexual dysfunction which occurs with anti depressants. The few negatives about viagra are that it is expensive and fake/counterfeit products are common.


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EmpowHER Guest

You should always see a doctor first, but there are nonprescription solutions that have been proven to improve the libido of woman on SSRI antidepressants. One example that comes to mind is the over the counter topical oil named Zestra. which has been shown to be safe and effective for women using SSRI anti-depressants. Two placebo-controlled studies published in the Journal of Sex and Marital Therapy showed that this blend of botanicals (including borage seed and evening primrose oils, Angelica root and vitamins C and E) provided a significant increase in arousal, desire, genital stimulation, ability to orgasm and pleasure. The treatment worked equally well on women using SSRI antidepressant medications. (Of course, don't not stop taking any antidepressant medications your doctor has prescribed.)

April 23, 2010 - 1:00am
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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