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Effexor and sexual dysfunction
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Effexor and sexual dysfunction

My man has been on Effexor for 10 years and has significant problems with libido, getting andmaintaining an erection and with ejaculation (it happens extremely rarely). IF he comes off Effexor (with a supervised weaning schedule), will the sexual dysfunction improve over time or will he always have erection/ejaculation problems?
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Avatar_m_tn
You can be sure that when and if he is ever off Effexor that most of the sexual side effects will vaporize. Then again his depression will also manifest again which is a libido killer also.

If erection and maintaining one is the problem and he is still interested in sex, then there is always Viagra or Cialis. They won't help with ejaculation, but they will help with the other two issues.

He could always swap that Effexor for an antidepressant called Protriptilyne. It's a very effective antidepressant but it does the opposite and causes Pre mature Ejaculation which is no fun either.

I used to take Effexor for many years before taking Protriptilyne. In my case I rather liked the side effect of it's prolonged ejaculation (so did the wife) but it never hurt my Libido.

I do understand what you mean though. When taking Effexor it can be VERY difficult for a man to "finish" if you know what I mean.
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Avatar_m_tn
Yep, it comes back. Depends on the risk to his mental health though doesn't it? IE, is it worth testing if he's doing OK?
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Avatar_f_tn
Thankyou both for replying. My man has been on Effexor for 10 years and has (in that time) made many changes to his life that have helped alleviate his depression. We have only been together for a few months and he has mentioned a few times lately that he is now happier than he has ever been and that he want's to come off Effexor and see how he goes. As a nurse, I know that many anti-depressants seriously affect libido and sexual function, but haven't wanted to tell him in case it comes across as me not being satisfied with our sex life thus putting more pressure on him. He is VERY good with his hands (if you get my drift), AND ever willing to pleasure me, so his dysfunction is not too much of an issue for me (though I'd be lying if I said it was not an issue at all - I want him to be happy too).

I get the feeling that he hasn't researched the side effects of Effexor at all, as evidenced by the fact that he maintains that his erectile dysfunction and low libido are age related (he's 58). While he claims it isn't really an issue for him, the very fact that he keeps mentioning he isn't bothered by it tells me that it's actually quite a BIG issue for him.

My take on it is that the dysfunction is a side effect of Effexor. His problems started not long after he began taking Effexor (he'd been depressed for about five years by then). Knowing he is going to suffer from withdrawal, I am hoping that the return of his ability to function will put him in a much stronger place to cope with the withdrawal symptoms.

I do not plan to speak of the possibility of his libido/erectile function returning before he starts weaning off Effexor....IF his depression returns, I don't want him to refuse to go back on anti-depressants.

I plan at this point to wait and see if his sexual function does return and when it does, to point out (ever so subtely) that maybe the problem was related to Effexor rather than his age and it might help him focus on the benefits of being off Effexor while experiencing withdrawal.

Again, thanks for letting me know Effexor related sexual dysfunction is not permanent. I will let you all know how it goes.
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Avatar_m_tn
Hi,

You sound like a very caring partner and one who deserves to be as happy as possible. So does he, deserve relief, so to speak.

You would think, after 10 years on FX, that he would be fully aware of the issue and would have accepted it as a trade off for feeling better. I have really. Sex has become less important to me as I grew older. From teenage obsession to now when it doesn't matter if my mind is at peace. Things could be better but that is OK as is.

I can see you plan to be gentle but can I emphasise the fragility of the male ego to you? It really is unbelievable how strong it is. And sensitive. Mine too.

If he does go off FX then his, and your focus must be mainly on his mental health and not whether anything pops up. He will feel that if it is not affected by other causes and will raise the issue with you ( it's damned hard writing this without every word seeming to be a double entendre! Have a chuckle though as I am as I write.)

He will, though, feel very fragile and it is likely he won't want to try out with you initially. Flying solo would be likely his first attempts and if succesful then he shoud be bolder. But 10 years can inhibit one drastically so beware that ego.

But no, the withdrawal symptoms won't be reduced by his mental strength or physical abilities returning at all. He may not have them at all if he does it slowly and with doc's monitoring. But do not expect him feeling stronger to stop withdrawal if it affects him. It's not something you can choose to fight I'm afraid. It's like walking under a rock fall. You may get hit and you may not. But not wanting to be hit is irrelevant.

Good luck and thanks for being so caring of one of our confreres. And our egos!
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Avatar_m_tn
Effexor sexual side effects can be really rough on men over 40. They are even sometimes hard to deal with for young men in their 20's so you could imagine the effect they will have on a man of 58.

I would think that maybe 20% of the sexual problem your husband is having are related to age. (we all slow down as we age) but my guess is that the other 80% is caused by the Effexor.

Like I said though, there is always Viagra. I'm only 40 and once in a while I will take a Viagra because my meds can sometimes cause the same issue.

Then again I happen to take my wifes sexual pleaseure very seriously. As a man I feel so horrible if I can not perform at peak level. I guess for me it's just a pride thing.

Not to mention I have always lived by the motto: "If I can not satisfy my wife then another man might and I don't want that."

Maybe when I'm 68 I will be ready to say, "ahh who cares anymore." until that time I want to be the best I can be in bed for my wife.

Maybe he can just reduce dosage a bit. Sometimes that works also.
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Avatar_f_tn
Hi everyone,
This week, my man has had a 2 day Effexor holiday with very enjoyable results for both of us...everything is working wonderfully well...libido almost out of control....erectile function FULLY restored...and ejaculation not delayed. The improvement was noticeable 36 hours after the last pill.

All I have to do now is get him to WEAN off Effexor. Unfortunately, he never looked up the side effects of Effexor and thought that his dysfunction was age related. Now that he has realised that his dysfunction was Effexor related, he doesn't want to take any more of them. This worries me even though I know he has made many life affirming changes in his life recently and no longer has a reason to be depressed.

I've told him that stopping Effexor abruptly may cause nasty withdrawal symptoms and even a return of the depression (his brain has become very used to having his 'feel good' chemicals supplied artificially and may not be able to produce what he needs instantly). I've suggested he slowly reduce the dosage over a few weeks or take his usual dose every second or third day to avoid anxiety and brain zaps but he is determined that he won't take any more pills.

Will let you know how it all works out....

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Avatar_m_tn
I told you it comes right back after the medication is stopped.

When I was on Effexor I used to skip it just one day if I knew I was going to be with my wife. Even skipping one day made all the difference. That's how I did it when I was on Effexor. I would just skip a day. It really works, but you feel a little nasty because a tiny bit of withdrawl (withdrawal) would kick in from the missed dose, but it was worth it.
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Avatar_f_tn
Thanks for your input Hensley....it has been a great help.

By the time I got back to my man after writing my last post, he had suffered a mood downturn and was feeling very sad and weepy. This occurred day three of not taking his usual dose. Fortunately, the mood downturn motivated him to take his usual dose of Effexor (150mg) and 12 hours later his mood had picked up again.

After talking it all through with him, he decided to go see his Dr and get him to set up a supervised weaning schedule. :-)

He is still keen to get off the Effexor all together  but is now aware that he may still need some Effexor to keep the black dog from his door. At the very least, he is hopeful that he can reduce his dosage to the point where the side effects are minimal and the benefits still felt.  I think this is a sensible approach and have strongly reinforced the idea.

Will let you all know what schedue he goes on and what withdrawal effects and benefits he receives at each stage.

If the withdrawal creates problems, we know that missing one dose boosts his libido and restores his function for at least one whole day. I'm sure we will eventally work out (if it becomes necessary) how often he can miss a dose without having to go through the mood drop.
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Avatar_f_tn
He might get by on a lower dose, which might have a positive effect. Ask the Doctor.
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Avatar_f_tn
thanx therese, my man is starting on 75mg in another week or two.
His Dr wants to wean him sloooooooooowly because of his extensive history - it's sensible, but we are impatient.

In the interim, we are considering Viagra as one day off Effexor doesn't have quite the same positive effect on his functioning as two days off does. Two days off Effexor leads to an intolerable rise in withdrawal symptoms late on day two. My concern with using Viagra are the side effects (my man has chronic headaches related to a head injury and Viagra is known to exacerbate headaches) and the risk of dependency.
Currently, we are practicing being patient and indulging in digital/oral sex ;-)....we should be real good at it by the time he is off Effexor all together.
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