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Prozac & Priapism

  Prozac has been a lifesaver for me, but it given me uncomfortable/
  painful erections. These happen only in the middle of the night.
  I discover them when I get up at night to urinate.
  I stopped taking prozac for awhile, and the erections very slowly
  subsided after about one month. Then I started prozac again (20
  mgs.) and developed the problem again after 7 or so days.
  (The only way to get the erections to go down is for me to stand
  up, and it takes maybe a minute or so for them to go away. Sometimes
  they come right back if I lie down, for some reason.)
  Questions: does this sound serious? Could this be a drug interaction?
  --I also take bentyl and sometimes Fiorinal-type migraine meds.
  Should I be concerned about zoloft causing the same problems?
  Strangely, I am not aware of priapism being a noted side effect
  fro prozac...
Dear Aumont,
     Priapism is the persistence of erection that does not result from sexual desire and fails to subside despite orgasm.  Priapism is often accompanied by pain and tenderness.  It can occur in any age group.  In men ages 20-50, many cases are idiopathic
     Many drugs have been associated with prolonged erection.  Particularly, antidepressants have been shown to stimulate the receptors that lead to penile erection.  It has also been noted that this effect is not dosage dependent.
     Considering the fact that you have benefited tremendously from Prozac therapy, I strongly suggest that you speak with your psychiatrist about alternative treatments.  Although, Zoloft works through a similar mechanism, it may be of some benefit to you.      
This information is provided for general medical education purposes only.  Please consult your physician for diagnostic and treatment options pertaining to your specific medical condition. More individualized care is available at the Henry Ford Hospital and its satellites (1 800 653 6568).
*keyword: priapism

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