Link Between Antidepressants and Erectile Dysfunction

Link Between Antidepressants and Erectile Dysfunction

Feeling anxious in your daily life is common these days. 19% of men suffered from anxiety disorder in the last year. Continuous sweating and worrying never leave your side. But did you know that anxiety and depression can also cause erectile dysfunction in men? Yes, it is called psychogenic erectile dysfunction. 

To treat the consistent anxiety, you take antidepressants. But you will be surprised to know that antidepressants can cause sexual dysfunction. This blog will look into the link between antidepressants and erectile dysfunction in men, and you will also discover ways to treat both. 

What are Antidepressants?

Antidepressants are the medications used to treat mental issues like anxiety and depression. Depression is a condition in which you don’t feel like doing anything, and the days become all blues. It is a common condition, especially in young adults. Adults experience depression due to some life events or the use of drugs and alcohol. 

Symptoms of depression include:

  • Worried
  • Fearful
  • Emptiness
  • Feeling anxious
  • Consistent sadness

To treat these symptoms, doctors prescribe various antidepressants. These medicines increase the neurotransmitters, the chemicals in the brain such as serotonin, which help to boost mood and emotions. 

As you take an antidepressant, you start to feel a sudden change in your mind. Your sad mood becomes happy, and you start feeling to do things that you denied to get involved in. Antidepressants moderate the mood and help with severe depression. 

Types of antidepressants

  • SSRIs
  • SNRIs
  • TCAs
  • MAOIs

Is There Any Link Between Antidepressants and Erectile Dysfunction?

The use of antidepressants is high. About one in 10 people aged 12 and above take antidepressants in the US. And like every medicine, it has certain side effects, and so do antidepressants. Studies show that 48% of patients experience sexual side effects when they continue to take antidepressants. 

However, researchers have not confirmed the connection between antidepressants and erectile dysfunction, but there are several theories about it. Some experts say that various antidepressant medicines cause erectile dysfunction by reducing the sex drive or libido. 

When you get sexually aroused, your brain stimulates numerous chemicals called neurotransmitters. They increase the blood flow in the sex organs and pelvic area. But as you take antidepressants like SSRI and SNRI, the level of serotonin in your body increases. It hinders the hormones which are responsible for the erection during sex. The hindrance in these hormones causes sexual dysfunction as its side effect.  

In the same study, the researchers took 483 individuals with major depressive disorder(MDD). Among those who were on antidepressants, half of them reported sexual dysfunction. 

What are the Antidepressants that Cause Erectile Dysfunction?

Numerous can cause erectile dysfunction in men. Below are some treatments for anxiety and depression that can become a threat to your sex life. 

  • Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are commonly prescribed for depression. Medicines that fall under SSRIs include Escitalopram (Lexapro), Paroxetine (Paxil), and Sertraline (Zoloft). These medicines increase the serotonin level in the body, affecting sex hormones like testosterone. It results in decreased libido and dopamine levels. 
  • Serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) are used for mental health treatment. Medicines that come under SNRIs include venlafaxine (Effexor XR), duloxetine (Cymbalta), and desvenlafaxine (Pristiq). These cause sexual side effects and lead to sexual dysfunction. 
  • Benzodiazepines are taken for severe panic attacks. It enhances gamma-aminobutyric acid A (GABAA) receptor function that reduces the penile erection.
  • Antipsychotics impair sexual functioning through muscarinic receptors. It disrupts the blood circulation in the pelvic area, leading to erectile dysfunction. It also causes abnormal ejaculation and priapism in men. 
  • Tricyclic antidepressants are prescribed for anxiety and depression. These medicines also help with chronic pain and migraines. 

How to Avoid Erectile Dysfunction When Taking Antidepressants?

Lower Your Dose

If you experience sexual dysfunction after taking antidepressants, ask your doctor to lower your dose. Sometimes, adjusting the dose can bring positive outcomes. Discuss the problem, and if they agree, then lowering the dose can help with reducing the chances of erectile dysfunction during sex. It is one of the effective ways to deal with the antidepressant-induced ED. 

Switching to Different Drugs

If lowering the dose doesn’t work out well, then change the antidepressants. Various antidepressant medicines have severe sexual side effects. To save your sex life, consult your doctor about switching the antidepressants. SSRI is an ordinary treatment for anxiety and depression, which can also result in sexual dysfunction. 

Take a Break from Antidepressants

If switching doesn’t work, then your healthcare provider may suggest taking a “drug holiday.” Taking a break from antidepressants can help boost your sexual functioning. Learn about the possible side effects from your doctor, and you are good to take a weekend break from antidepressants to enjoy sex. 

Have Sex Before Taking Drugs

Another option that can save your sex life is having sex before taking antidepressants. As you take the medicines, the blood flow in the pelvic area decreases, leading to no or almost no erection. Schedule sex before the time of taking the pills. Consult your doctor, and with their guidance, you can help with erectile dysfunction. 

Can You Take Viagra with Antidepressants?

Viagra is a medicine that men take to get their erection back, and yes, it is possible to take ED pills, branded or generic, with antidepressants. Some of the powerful generic medicines for erectile dysfunction are Cenforce 100Fildena 100, and Vidalista 20

These medicines are the PDE5 inhibitors, which improve the blood flow in your penis. They take around 30-45 minutes to come into action and last for 3-4 hours. PDE5 inhibitors work nicely with antidepressants and treat ED. 

If you want to learn more about generic medicines and how they treat ED, check out our guide on “Cenforce: A Powerful Treatment for Erectile Dysfunction.”

Bottom Line

Taking antidepressants helps with depression and anxiety. They reduce the pain in your mind and elevate your mood. But these medicines can also bring sexual side effects with them. To avoid that, talk to your healthcare provider and take the necessary action. 

If you have erectile dysfunction and really want to treat it, then stop here. Check our latest generic medicines for erectile dysfunction and premature ejaculation. You will find a variety of treatments that will help with your erection problems. Get your confidence back with your first dose


1) Can Antidepressants Cause Erectile Dysfunction?

Antidepressants are linked with sexual dysfunction, and they can cause erection problems. These generally happen due to its sexual side effects like decreased libido or reduced sexual drive. The antidepressant drugs hinder the performance of the hormones, which play a crucial role in sexual functioning. 

2) How Do You Fix Erectile Dysfunction while on Antidepressants?

Several ways can help with ED when on antidepressants. You can alter the dose of the anxiety medicines or switch the medicines. You can also take a small break from the antidepressants. Additionally, the use of ED pills can also help with sexual dysfunction. 

3) Does ED go Away After Antidepressants?

In many cases, the sexual side effects of antidepressants, like erectile dysfunction or low libido, may persist even after you stop taking the medicines. SSRI is the common depression treatment that causes erectile dysfunction in men.

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