I am a 33 year old male. I went to my general practioner today complaining of depressive symptoms. I specifically told him that I wanted a drug that would not affect my libido or sexual function, because I am starting a new relationship that may soon become sexual. He put me on Venlafaxine XR (37.5 to start then 75 mg), of which I'd never heard. I got home and googled it, and found a lot of people complaining mainly about sexual dysfuction (impotence?) and to a smaller extent lack of libido.
How does venlafaxine compare to other antidepressants in terms of sexual side effects? I know a lot of people have had problems with Paxil, for example. Did he put me on a medication with a lesser chance of sexual side effects, particulary lack of libido, but also any erectile problems?
Effexor is reported to cause sexual side effects in some men, including inhibited erection and lowering of desire. However, it’s impossible for anyone to know whether you’ll develop any sexual side effects while taking it. In addition, once you begin taking it, if you DO develop these side effects, it would be difficult to know whether they’re actually caused by the medication itself or by your depression, since sexual side effects are very common in people with depression.
Realize that it takes a few months for your body to adjust to any anti-depressant. My best recommendation is that you wait a few months to see how you do on this medication, and if you notice sexual side effects, ask about taking a smaller dose, taking it at a different time of day or adding Wellbutrin to your regimen. Wellbutrin is the anti-depressant with the lowest association to sexual side effects. Best of luck to you. Dr. J
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