Q. I am a 48 year old woman who has been happily married for 17 years. Now I have entered menopause and have no more sexual desire. Since my mother died of breast cancer, I am reluctant to start hormone replacement therapy. I have to do something to keep my marriage together and to keep myself from falling deeper into depression. I think I read in your column months ago about an antidepressant with a wonderful side effect–sexual appetite! Can you send me information on this drug, please?
A. Most antidepressant medications tend to lower libido and interfere with sexual pleasure. Wellbutrin (bupropion), on the other hand, appears to stimulate sexuality. While not an aphrodisiac, this medication has been reported to increase interest in sex as well as arousal. We are sending you our Guides to Female Sexuality and Treating Sexual Dysfunction which give more details on Wellbutrin, testosterone and other potential approaches to sexual difficulties. Wellbutrin is not appropriate for everyone, as it has the potential to cause side effects. Some of those include anxiety, insomnia, headache and loss of appetite. It may be worth discussing with your physician, however.