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What to Do When Antidepressants Mess with Your Sex Drive
“Bupropion is known to reduce seizure thresholds, with a seizure rate of about 1 in 1000 subjects treated,” Dr. Eric Wooltorton, an Ottawa-based general practitioner. He continues, “[Bupropion] should not be administered to patients with conditions altering the seizure threshold, including anorexia nervosa or bulimia.”
If switching to Wellbutrin isn’t an option and a low libido is getting you down, you can consider lowering your dosage. Dr.Robert L. Phillips, a family physician and the vice president of research and policy at the American Board of Family Medicine, writes that in “one study, 73 percent of patients whose SSRI dosage was halved reported improved sexual function while antidepressant effectiveness continued.”
MORE: 9 Foolproof Ways to Increase Your Sex Drive
Phillips also notes that people with “major depressive disorder or bipolar disorder have an even higher prevalence of sexual dysfunction” than the general population. The explanation behind this is that sexual dysfunction is a and will impact your libido regardless of whether or not you are taking medication. As a result, treating your depression first can positively impact your sex drive.
Norman L. Keltner, a professor at the School of Nursing at the University of Alabama, writes, “[P]atients can plan activities when drug levels are their lowest […] [such as] right before the next dose is scheduled to be taken.” Patients taking drugs with short half-lives, such as sertraline and clomipramine may find this method the most effective.
While some physicians may advocate a “drug holiday”—a brief period in which antidepressant users abstain from taking their medication for improved sexual function—Dr.Agnes Higgins, a professor at the School of Nursing and Midwifery at Trinity College in Dublin, warns against it. She that those considering going off their meds should keep in mind they may experience “withdrawal symptoms associated with their particular medication [that] […] may render the individual unable to engage in sexual activity.”
MORE: What to Do When You’re Dating a Guy with Problems Below the Belt
An important thing to note is that while sex drives may be lower than usual, it’s still possible to get aroused and orgasm. Foreplay can be an integral part of sexual satisfaction and one that should never be missed. The bottom line: Take some pressure off yourself by keeping in mind that depression and sexual dysfunction are usually correlated and treatable.
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