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  • Sexual dysfunctions from SSRIs - What about SAMe?

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    Old 08-30-2002, 04:12 AM   #1
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    Post Sexual dysfunctions from SSRIs - What about SAMe?

    Hi, everybody. I'm a 30-year-old Italian guy, new to the board, and I've been suffering from depression for several years. I tried all types of SSRIs (Prozac, Zoloft, Celexa, Paxil...) and I didn't find any difference among them: they were all very effective for depression, but they all disrupted my sexual life: sexual drive became low and ejaculation very difficult, often impossible. (I think sexual dysfunctions as a side-effect of SSRIs are underestimated and are much more frequent than pharmaceutical companies are willing to admit).

    It's always the same story. I begin to feel depressed. At first I try to ignore it, hoping it will go away. At times I take Ativan (lorazepam) as a stopgap remedy, because it makes me feel better for some hours. Then depression gets worse and worse, until I feel I can't cope with it any longer without proper medication, so I go to my physician, who prescribes me an SSRI. My mood improves after 2-3 weeks but I'm no longer able to have sex. When I'm deeply depressed I feel so bad that I think giving up sex is after all a fair price to pay to stop suffering. But when I return to normal, after some time I'm no longer willing to sacrifice such an important part of my life and I stop taking the drug. I feel good for some time, but sooner or later depression comes again.

    I tried other drugs which are supposed to cause fewer sexual side effects (Serzone, Zyban, moclobemide...) but they didn't work. Only SSRIs seem to work with me. Remeron did seem to work, but it made me sleep all day and made me gain weight very quickly.

    Now, after being well and taking no drugs for almost one year (the longest time so far), I'm depressed again. But this time I'm not willing to give up sex for the next 6-8 months or who knows how long... probably the rest of my life! It's become apparent that I'll have to cope with depression for ever, though not continuously, and I'll never get rid of it once for all, therefore I need to find a drug I can take for the rest of my life. Obviously, it can't be a drug which prevents me from having sex, because it would be like undergoing chemical castration!

    So I insisted on my physician making me try another drug which doesn't impair sexual functions. I've tried almost everything that exists on the market by now, so as a last resort he prescribed me SAMe (in Italy it's a prescription drug), 1200 mg per day. He was skeptical and said that in his experience it's a very weak antidepressant, which seldom works. Anyway I thought it was worth trying.

    I'd like to know if anyone has had experience with SAMe (alone, not combined with other drugs). Did it work? If it did, after how long? And at what dosage? Any suggestion would be greatly appreciated.


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    Old 09-01-2002, 07:18 AM   #2
    Lizzy H
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    Hi Daniele

    I am female but have suffered the same sexual side effects as you described. Im afraid I dont know about SAme and cant comment. The only thing I can say is from my own experience of SSRIs is that the sexual side improved dramatically when I was coming off them and reduced to 20mg every other day (Cipramil/Celexa).
    Have you noticed this improvement when you were reducing down? if so is it not possible to take a low dose continually to keep depression at bay, ONCE you have got to the point of feeling well again.
    Once stabalized even 5mg may ward depression off but give you back your sex life. I dont really know if this will work but it may be worth discussing with your doctor.
    People on here do mention that the drug Welburtin(sp?)
    has less sexual side effects.

    Good luck
    Lizzy XX

    Old 05-09-2003, 12:10 PM   #3
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    I used SAM-e for almost a year and found it to be ineffective as an anti-depressant. Towards the end, I was taking 1,600 mg a day, which might have resulted in an effective dose of anywhere from 800 mg of SAM-e and up.

    Initially, I thought that the SAM-e improved my mood...slightly, but over time, I needed to take more and more and eventually, came to the conclusion that it wasn't working - at least not for me. When I switched from SAM-e to an anti-depressant - Celexa - I noticed a huge difference. Felt much different than with the SAM-e.

    Also, the prescription ant-depressant was actually cheaper to buy than the SAM-e. Thirty 400 mg tablets of SAM-e was costing me about $40 U.S., or $60 Canadian. A month's supply at 1,600 mg, was costing me almost $250 Cdn. and it's not covered by health plans.

    I tried all kinds of herbal remedies because I didn't want to take a prescription anti-depressant because of all the side effects; however, it seems to have worked well enough for me.

    As a male, SAM-e did not impair sexual function, nor reduce libido in any way. I just felt that it's anti-depressant qualities were minimal.

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