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Old 09-13-2003, 11:29 AM   #1
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peaceseeker2 HB User
Post Male Needs Your Help,If Possible, In Alleviating Antidepressant Induced Sex.Dysfunct

Hi!
I need your help. I want to thank you first of all for taking the time to read this post. I appreciate it. I put this post on the Depression message board as well and I thought I would put it here as well. It seems appropriate. I am a male in my late twenties and I am taking Zoloft, now, at 100 mg./day and Wellbutrin SR at 400mg./day. My psychiatrist started me on the Wellbutrin SR in addition to the Zoloft because I had developed sexual side effects from the Zoloft. First, I no longer woke up erect. Before I started the Zoloft, I could not remember the last time that I woke up and not have an erection. Not waking up erect in the morning was a price I was happy to pay not to stay in the depressive Hell I was in. That was at the lower doses of the Zoloft though. I eventually got to 150mg. A few months ago, the real "fun" began. I have extreme difficulty in having an orgasm/ejaculation. If I am able to have an orgasm/ejaculation, it is only after much,much,much time and effort. When I do have an orgasm/ejaculation, I basically can forget about do so again for at least several days. Also, I am having impotence issues lately as well. I seem to be able to become initially erect (thus far) without too much difficulty, however, maintaining my erection has become a challenge. As I am trying to have an orgasm/ejaculate, and am going like the little pink Energizer bunny, and just keep going, and going, and going,....I lose my erection and I can't become erect again. This sucks!!!!!!!!!! I know that sexual dysfunction is a very common side effect to SSRI's. I am wondering how other men out there handled and addressed their sexual side effects from their medication? My psychiatrist started me on the Wellbutrin SR to see if that would help. I have been on the maximum recommended daily dosage,400mg., for about a little over a month and it really has not done anything except make me feel even better depression-wise. My psychiatrist wanted to start me on a prescription of Viagra, but my insurance company would not cover it and it is way, way, too expensive to buy it on my own. So, my psychiatrist reduced my Zoloft dosage from 150mg/day to 100mg/day too see if that would help alleviate or eliminate my sexual side effects while still maintaining a theraputic effect from the Zoloft. I am wondering if this doesn't work, and I need to move to plan, ummm....I guess it would be Plan D, what should Plan D be? What drugs out there have helped you? I have heard that BuSpar have helped some people alleviate their antidepressant induced sexual dysfuntion. Has anyone out there benefited from BuSpar in this manner? How about Amantadine? How about yohimbine? What drug combination worked for you? Obviously, I am most interested in hearing from other men, but I invite everyones imput. I have posted posts similar to this one at other websites, and I am just amazed at how it seems that there are so many people out there that are willing to tolerate the sexual dysfunction. I am capable and willing to be patient, but I am not willing to accept the side effects. I am going to keep on trying different medication combinations, etc., to see what will work for me. Men, how did you handle this? What helped you? I just want to be able to have an erection and maintain it. I want to be able to have an orgasm and ejaculate without having to try sooooooooooooooooooooooooo hard to. So, I would appreciate anyone's imput and suggestions. Perhaps with talking about this and swapping suggestions, and experiences, and ideas, we can help ourselves regain our sexual dimensions and thus help us to be one step to happier, healthier, non-depressed life. Thanks.
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Old 09-13-2003, 01:21 PM   #2
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My sister prescribes a very small amount of buspar along with antidepressants to her patients and that seems to get rid of sexual side effects in most of her patients. You might want to ask your doc about serzone, patients report 4 times less sexual side effects than zoloft or paxil, it worked wonders for my sister's best friend.
I had the energizer bunny problem while on paxil. my girlfriend thought i was a sexual god.
so weigh the benefits and the draw backs when you make your choice
good luck

 
Old 09-13-2003, 03:00 PM   #3
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peaceseeker2 HB User
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Hi TangoBen!
Thank you for taking the time to reply. Yeah, I know what you mean. The added stamina is a nice plus to the antidepressants, but... I am just at the point where I am like, enough is enough. I want to cross the finish line, see the end of the movie, etc.,etc.,etc. You get the idea. Yeah, I will need to do something. I thought about Serzone but am concerned regarding its potential for liver problems. BuSpar is looking like a good try. I have also heard stuff about Yohimbine, Ginko Biloba (sp?),Amantadine, plus some kind of antihistimine. My psychiatrist suggested I go off of the Zoloft, but right now, I am really leary. This time of the year is really, really bad for me. I tend to have, umm...issues, in the late fall, winter, and early spring. Hmmm...perhaps I should spend some time in front of a light lamp. Anyway, TangoBen, I really appreciate your imput and would love to hear from others.

 
Old 09-14-2003, 07:58 AM   #4
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Willzviewz HB User
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Depression AND the medications used to treat it can both interfere with your ability to produce and maintain an erection. You say in the past that you would always wake up with an erection. Was that true when you were feeling depressed while NOT taking the medication? It is possible that you are taking too much of the medication and it is thus interfering with nature or you are not taking enough and the depression is interfering.

Lexapro is a relatively new anti-depressant on the market. Research the drug and see what you come up with.

Lastly, as you should know, it takes some time to get stabilized on anti-depressant medications. It may takes 8 weeks to get to the point where you know whether the medication is helping you with your depression. Once you get stabilized, perhaps the adverse affects will wear off and you will return "to your old self."

Good luck.

 
Old 09-15-2003, 09:56 AM   #5
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jamie17 HB User
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My story is somewhat similar to yours, except that my doctor put me on Wellbutrin first and added SSRI's later. Before any medication, I was depressed, but VERY highly sexual, with a strong drive and no performance problems. The Wellbutrin did not affect me sexually, which was good, but it also was not 100% effective at treating my depression. My doctor decided to add an SSRI --- I was aware of the sexual side effects and insisted on an SSRI with a (supposed) low incidence of side effects. He put me on Lexapro. Almost immediately my sex drive left the building. I was able to get an erection --- not that I wanted to, anymore --- but I would have to work really, really hard to climax, and sometimes no amount of work would get me there. It was a real drag. (btw, Viagra is not really an answer, because all that's going to do is make you rock hard --- you're still not going to have a normal libido, and you're still not going to come like you used to. In fact, Viagra might make the whole situation worse.) However, the Lexapro was remarkably effective at treating my depression. I was happy --- but (ironically) growing increasingly unhappy about no longer being sexual. I realized that being sexual was (is) a huge part of my identity, and that without it, I didn't really feel like me. It was very unsettling. I must note, however, that for some people --- people who are maybe not so highly sexual in the first place or people who are willing to trade sex for happiness --- this would not have been a bad arrangement. In fact, I know someone else who is on the same drug combination and is also completely unsexual now but doesn't even notice, hardly, or care that anything is wrong. So the Lexapro had to go. Then we tried Luvox, which is also supposed to have less sexual side effects. No change in the sex situation, and Luvox wasn't as effective as an antidepressant, plus I was nauseous 24/7. So, right now I am off of all SSRI's (still on the Wellbutrin) and my sex drive and performance are bouncing back nicely, but also, my depression is beginning to make a return appearance. Many people have told me --- and I've read on these boards --- that each SSRI is different and has slightly different effects on each person, and that you just have to keep trying different ones until you find one that works for you and that has side effects you can live with. I've heard that Paxil and Zoloft are awful sexually, and I've heard that Remeron and Serzone are not as bad (actually I think Remeron and Serzone are not SSRI's but a different, newer class of drugs)... but who knows? You would literally have to try them all before you figured out how they all work for you.
As for me, I decided --- at least for now --- that I am not willing to sacrifice my sexual self for alleviating my depression. Right now I am going to remain off of SSRI's and see what happens. Sure, maybe there is an SSRI that would treat my depression and not affect my sex life --- although my gut feeling is that they will ALL affect my sex life negatively, but I guess I'm not willing to spend a couple of years trying to figure out which one it is. I find it depressing not to be sexual, so isn't it kind of better to maybe be off of them altogether?
I know that's not really the answer you wanted to hear, believe me: it's not the answer I wanted to hear, either.

 
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