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By Lee Shulman, MD, FACOG, FACMG

Medical Director and Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology
Division Chief, Reproductive Genetics
Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University
Chicago, IL

Created: 11/23/2011
Last Updated: 10/16/2012

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Q: I think the antidepressant I'm taking is affecting my sex drive. Is this possible?

Sexual problems, including the loss of interest in sex, can be a common and frustrating side effect of many antidepressants. This side effect comes with not only antidepressant medications known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), but also with the older medications, including the class of drugs known as MAO inhibitors and tricyclic antidepressants. In one survey, between 22 percent and 43 percent of patients taking antidepressants reported some related sexual problem.

If you have concerns about the medication you are taking and its possible effect on your sex life, make an appointment to speak with your health care professional. He or she may suggest you try a different antidepressant medication among other options. For example, certain antidepressants have a lower risk of sexual side effects. Ask your health care professional for guidance.

Just remember, sexual problems associated with antidepressant medication are problems that can be resolved; but solving the problem must start with a conversation with your health care professional.