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Sex Rx: Paxil and Your Sex Life
How Paroxetine Works
Other Drugs of This Class (SSRIs)
- Sertraline (Zoloft)
- Fluoxetine (Prozac)
- Escitalopram (Lexapro)
- Fluvoxamine (Luvox)
- Citalopram (Celexa)
Possible Sexual Side Effects Associated With Paroxetine
- Decreased sexual desire
- Difficulty reaching orgasm, especially in women
- Erection impairment
- Ejaculatory dysfunction
How This Medication Can Affect Sexual Function
Wait It Out
Decrease the Dosage
- Bupropion (Wellbutrin) —This antidepressant medicine does not affect serotonin. It is less likely than the commonly used SSRIs to cause sexual dysfunction and may actually have prosexual effects. Bupropion is used to treat a number of conditions, such as major depressive disorder and seasonal affective disorder. It is not recommended for people with eating disorders or seizure disorders.
- Nefazodone (Serzone)—This drug does affect serotonin, but not in the same way as SSRIs. It can be used to treat depression and cause fewer sexual side effects. One of its more troublesome adverse effects is sedation.
- Mirtazapine (Remeron)—This drug is similar to nefazodone in its effect on depression and sexual function. It can also cause sedation.
Try an Antidote
Take a Drug Holiday
Consider Herbal Supplements
American Psychological Association http://www.apa.org/
Food and Drug Administration http://www.fda.gov/
Canadian Psychiatric Association http://www.cpa-apc.org/
Canadian Pharmacists Association http://www.pharmacists.ca/
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Paroxetine. EBSCO Health Library website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/healthLibrary/. Updated April 11, 2011. Accessed July 7, 2012.
Paroxetine (marketed as Paxil) information. US Food and Drug Administration website. Available at: http://www.fda.gov/Drugs/DrugSafety/PostmarketDrugSafetyInformationforPatientsandProviders/DrugSafetyInformationforHeathcareProfessionals/PublicHealthAdvisories/ucm053346.htm. Updated December 21, 2011. Accessed July 7, 2012.
Safarinejad MR. The effects of the adjunctive bupropion on male sexual dysfunction induced by a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor: a double-blind placebo-controlled and randomized study. BJU Int. 2010;106(6):840-847.
Shen WW, Hsu JH. Female sexual side effects associated with selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors: a descriptive clinical study of 33 patients. Int J Psychiatry Med. 1995;25:239-248.
Sildenafil. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated April 11, 2011. Accessed July 14, 2012.
Smucny J, Park MS. Which antidepressant is best to avoid sexual dysfunction? Am Fam Physician. 2004;69(10):2419-2420.
Yohimbe. EBSCO Natural and Alternative Treatments website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/healthLibrary/. Updated August 2011. Accessed July 14, 2012.
- Reviewer: Brian Randall, MD
- Review Date: 07/2012
- Update Date: 09/17/2012