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Old 01-02-2011, 04:37 PM   #1 (permalink)
 
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Default Sexual side-effects of Lexapro

Hi all, I've been on 20mg of Lexapro for roughly four months now. It has really improved my SA/depression/OCD, but the sexual side effects with my GF are just so debilitating (ie: getting an erection/keeping erection/libido).

My doctor's put me on Wellbutrin XL to counteract these side effects, but it probably won't be for another month or so 'til I see a difference. I guess I'll just wait and see, but how common is this with Lexapro? I have no sexual interactions to compare this to before I started taking medication, so I'm also worried that these may just be side-effects of my anxiety and not the medicine itself??


Any recommendations/tips? anyone who can relate to these side-effects, and if so, what did you do or switch to??

Thanks for reading
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Old 01-02-2011, 04:47 PM   #2 (permalink)
 
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It's quite common. Lexapro supposedly has a comparatively smaller side effect profile than other SSRIs, but many people still seem to experience the typical SSRI side effects, most notably sexual dysfunction.

I'm happy it's helped, in general, though--and the buproprion should help with the sexual issues. Just out of curiosity, when depressed, were your symptoms atypical or melancholic (or undifferentiated/some of both)? I'm trying to gather some data points, because (for good reason) I lack confidence in SSRIs for social phobia (and the often comorbid atypical depression)--but I'm always hopeful that SSRIs can still help some with both conditions.

Atypical depression usually includes symptoms like extreme fatigue/lethargy/anergia, diurnal mood variation with worsening at night, mood lability and reactivity in response to external events (e.g. positive event happens => mood might lift; negative event happens => mood usually declines; criticism or rejection might even make one feel suicidal); oversleeping; overeating and/or carb cravings; anhedonia or apathy; very low motivation.

Melancholic depression is the more classic form of depression (but actually less common in people with social phobia), and includes loss of appetite; insomnia (most commonly with early morning awakenings); anxiety about the future; guilt, regret, and self-reproach about past misdoings and failures; diurnal mood variation with worst mood in the morning upon waking; anhedonia; lack of mood lability and reactivity to external events, criticism, or rejection.
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Old 01-02-2011, 07:26 PM   #3 (permalink)
 
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To clarify from my original post, SA was the main reason I talked to my doctor when seeking medication; I feel as though the depression was a result of my SA. However, from those descriptions, I think I'd consider myself more melancholic.

Also, you say you lack confidence in SSRI's, but what are other alternatives? I'm under the impression that there are stronger drugs, but with them come stronger side-effects...? I'm relatively new to this whole medication thing...do people ever find that one "magic" drug, or will there always be those side-effects you need to deal with.

I know Lexapro is geared toward blocking the reuptake of serotonin, and I certainly feel more happy, confident, and positive about the future which minimizes the depression-like symptoms, and helps me a little socially (but the SA is not totally gone). Whether it's more of a placebo effect than anything, I don't know. I guess the question for me lies in deciding whether this drug is working well enough to tolerate the sexual side-effects, and I just don't know that. Not being able to perform is pretty depressing in itself.
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Old 01-03-2011, 09:40 PM   #4 (permalink)
 
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I was in a similar situation about five years ago. Do you think you can go without meds?
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Old 01-03-2011, 09:49 PM   #5 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by United View Post
To clarify from my original post, SA was the main reason I talked to my doctor when seeking medication; I feel as though the depression was a result of my SA. However, from those descriptions, I think I'd consider myself more melancholic.
Since your depression was more melancholic (or perhaps it was just "psychological" depression/dysthymia caused by chronic social anxiety, and not true clinical depression), it would make sense you'd have a better response to an SSRI. That's good.

Quote:
Originally Posted by United View Post
Also, you say you lack confidence in SSRI's, but what are other alternatives? I'm under the impression that there are stronger drugs, but with them come stronger side-effects...? I'm relatively new to this whole medication thing...do people ever find that one "magic" drug, or will there always be those side-effects you need to deal with.
There are almost always side effects with anti-depressants, but some have more than others. Wellbutrin does not typically have sexual dysfunction and, as you know, is in fact used to counteract sexual dysfunction induced by SSRIs (and maybe MAOIs).

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Originally Posted by United View Post
I know Lexapro is geared toward blocking the reuptake of serotonin, and I certainly feel more happy, confident, and positive about the future which minimizes the depression-like symptoms, and helps me a little socially (but the SA is not totally gone). Whether it's more of a placebo effect than anything, I don't know. I guess the question for me lies in deciding whether this drug is working well enough to tolerate the sexual side-effects, and I just don't know that. Not being able to perform is pretty depressing in itself.
I can definitely understand that sexual dysfunction is frustrating. That's why I quit Zoloft after two days when I was 16. I think the Wellbutrin will help in that regard.
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Old 01-03-2011, 09:52 PM   #6 (permalink)
 
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its destroyed my libido, which is usually crazy. I dont get that strange feeling when i see a cute girl. That sexual urge to masturbate, and the horrible feeling that tells me ill never have a gf because of SA. So thats good....i guess. I can get an erection, if i want to orgasm, i have to have 2 hours, alone, with a break every 15 minutes....ughh.

im 18 and am on 30 mg
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Old 01-03-2011, 09:59 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I found Lexapro helped me sexually. I used to reach too fast. Now I can last a bit longer. On the negative, I do get sore afterwards because my unit isn't used to that much friction.
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Old 01-03-2011, 11:22 PM   #8 (permalink)
 
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I've been on Lexapro at 5mg-10mg. I was put on Wellbutrin XL 300mg to help with the sexual side effects and essentially making the combo an SNRI. It helped me but I was on a much lower dose of Lexapro than yourself. Did you try a lower dose for a good month to month and a half before titrating up to 20mg? You might experience the same benefits on a lower dose (Lexapro) with less side effects. The lower amount you need to alleviate your symptoms the better.
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Old 01-05-2011, 12:53 PM   #9 (permalink)
 
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Thank you all for the replies!


Quote:
Originally Posted by Socially Anxious View Post
I was in a similar situation about five years ago. Do you think you can go without meds?
Unfortunately, I don't think so.


Quote:
Originally Posted by metamorphosis View Post
I've been on Lexapro at 5mg-10mg. I was put on Wellbutrin XL 300mg to help with the sexual side effects and essentially making the combo an SNRI. It helped me but I was on a much lower dose of Lexapro than yourself. Did you try a lower dose for a good month to month and a half before titrating up to 20mg? You might experience the same benefits on a lower dose (Lexapro) with less side effects. The lower amount you need to alleviate your symptoms the better.
I started at 10mg, then moved up to 20mg (which I'm currently on). I have no previous instances to compare this to before Lexapro, and on the 10mg, because I wasn't really getting any action at those times to be blunt hah...
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Old 01-05-2011, 01:01 PM   #10 (permalink)
 
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I don't seem to have any major issues, though it makes me wonder if I went off medication if I would have increased sex drive.
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Old 11-30-2011, 06:26 AM   #11 (permalink)
 
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Speaking from someone who has taken lexapro for most of my life (age 16 -27) then got off of it for 1.5 years only to return to it 2 months ago..... The sexual side effects suck! But it does help with my depression, anxiety where all else has failed. I have been struggling since I have gotten back on it with extreme prolonged ejaculation. As someone else said, the drug has brought back my ability to pick up women and I show em a good time. However, I can not orgasm! I can bust on my own with deep concentration, a healthy supply of youjizz.com and a nice chunk of time. But when it comes to sex with women, I have yet to "release". I used to take lexapro up to 40mg coupled with welbutrin xl and i think it may have helped a bit. The issue was still there but I did orgasm most of the time. I have read how welbutrin xl is not readily available like it used to be, replaced with generic counterparts that are not the same thing. This sucks! I know how everyone feels. What do you do when you find a medication that really works and really helps yet takes away something that most of us would find vital to our everyday lives. I have been working on my well being outside of just taking meds (therapy, group, self-affirmation, etc) however I know I am by no means ready to taper off again. Besides when i was off of it I bust in 2 min. I honestly don't know what its like to have sex without it as I started taking so young. I am just stuck at this point and its frustrating. At least I know what I am working with. Any supplements, other methods anyone can suggest? I have read taking smaller doses of viagra could help.
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Old 11-30-2011, 11:22 AM   #12 (permalink)
 
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Anti-depressants are well known for lowering your sex drive.
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Old 11-30-2011, 10:39 PM   #13 (permalink)
 
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Welcome to the world of SSRIs, bro.

They do this to almost every guy.
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Old 12-01-2011, 10:28 AM   #14 (permalink)
 
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Lexapro is promoted as having less chance for sex dysfunction, in practice it's just the same as all other ssri's.
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Old 12-01-2011, 10:30 AM   #15 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cletis View Post
Welcome to the world of SSRIs, bro.

They do this to almost every guy.
I must be one of the "lucky" ones...
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Old 12-01-2011, 01:34 PM   #16 (permalink)
 
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yohimbine (tea) could help overcome this problems, and it mixes with ssri well
only problem if you are bipolar it can trigger manic episode
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Old 12-01-2011, 04:58 PM   #17 (permalink)
 
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I've been on zoloft 50 mg for 2 weeks. In regards to libido, i noticed the following.

Positives: Takes longer to cum. When i masturbate, the build up is nice too, so i can enjoy this part much longer.

Negatives: To reach ejaculation i need to rub it very hard. Usually before zoloft, as ejaculation is coming closer, i could slow down and it would almost work by itself. Now i have to rub it as hard as i do during the buildup, just to enjoy the orgasm in full.

Before zoloft i could get an erection extremelly quickly, which i found annoying, as i would then just think of sex. On zoloft i still get an erection as quikly. This impedes my studies and my concentration. I wish the erection sensitivity was slightly lower.
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Old 12-02-2011, 06:47 PM   #18 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by uplift82 View Post
I can bust on my own with deep concentration, a healthy supply of youjizz.com and a nice chunk of time
talk about a depression fix right there, that bust me out in the biggest laughter I've had in a long time!!! thx for that!!!

anyways, lexapro gave me huge libido lift, which was great but yes it takes longer to orgasm....but it does get better over time, if it doesnt check your testosterone levels.....this helped me a long way to balance things out nicely....test levels will only go down as you age, and SSRIs tend to blunt the dopamirgenic effect of testosterone....
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Old 12-07-2011, 08:17 PM   #19 (permalink)
 
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If anyone has a good idea for preventing the sexual side effects, Speak up!
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Old 12-08-2011, 01:22 AM   #20 (permalink)
 
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I was on Lexapro for 2 years and had zero libido. Before Lexapro I had an insatiable libido. If you work at it though, it is still possible to have a fulfilling sex life. Now, after being off it for about 6 months, the libido has returned but not as rampant as before. My reasoning was that my attitude towards sex had changed and the realisation that sex wasn't everything in life! Please note though, I am a female I was happier that the medication was helping my SA rather than lamenting over my decreased libido.
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