Q. Some time ago you discussed a drug a person was taking for depression. It had the side effect of delaying his orgasms during sex. I meant to ask my doctor about this medicine, but have mislaid the article. What was it?
A. Some urologists have confided to us that they are prescribing antidepressants such as Prozac (fluoxetine), Paxil (paroxetine) and Zoloft (sertraline) to combat premature ejaculation. The side effect of delayed orgasm is a problem for some men and a blessing for others.
Here are a few comments on this topic:
“My husband has suffered all of our married life from early ejaculation…very early ejaculation! Sometimes it happens even before penetration. There are options for men to achieve erections but very few to slow them down. We tried both kinds. We have not tried Paxil. Perhaps one man’s problem side effect will be another man’s very satisfying side effect.”
“I, too, had sexual performance problems on anti-depressants (low libido, no orgasms and reduced sex drive). I had been taking them for many years and have been on most of the popular ones, most recently, Paxil. The side effects were getting worse so I started taking only half-tablets daily. This went on for a couple years with mixed results – not much change in depression level and little difference in libido.
“A life change event happened recently and left me feeling very good for a change. I had not felt that good in years! So, I chose to take advantage of the very positive feelings to see if I could wean myself off gradually. I have been Paxil free now for over six weeks and still feel fine. Part of the good news is that my libido has returned to “normal.”
“The condition is called anorgasmia and is a KNOWN side effect of many anti-depressants. It’s usually not an answer to premature ejaculation, as it doesn’t just prolong an erection as much as it nullifies a person’s ability to derive pleasure from the act of copulation, or EVER achieve orgasm. It has the same effect on many women (it did on me), and it can be hellishly frustrating. (If you weren’t depressed BEFORE you went on the drug, you sure would be afterwards.)”
Be sure to discuss both the benefits and the risks of such treatment. These drugs have not been approved for this use and do have other side effects.
ANTIDEPRESSANT SIDE EFFECTS:
- Nausea, stomach pain, constipation, diarrhea, decreased appetite, vomiting
- Dry mouth
- Insomnia, anxiety, tremor
- Dizziness, fatigue, sleepiness
- Sweating, hot flashes
- Blurred vision
- Sexual dysfunction, lowered libido, erection difficulties, lack of orgasm
- Liver damage
- Serious skin reactions, rash, hives (requires immediate MD assistance!)
- Irregular heart rhythms
- Bleeding problems
- Blood pressure problems
- Interaction with other drugs (leading to serotonin syndrome among other reactions)
- Depressed mood, suicidal thoughts and behavior, suicide
Share your own story about solutions for premature ejaculation below. What have antidepressants done to your love life?