The Effects of Antidepressants on Sexual Functioning in Depressed Patients: A Review

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Sexual dysfunction has long been noted as both a symptom of depressive illness and as a side effect of many of the medications used to treat depression. Although most people suffering from a major depressive illness would like to be sexually active, half experience a decrease in desire or sexual performance. Antidepressant medications often interfere with several parts of the sexual response. This review compares data from different types of research into the effect of antidepressant medications on the sexual response: case reports, chart reviews, and single- and double-blind studies with and without active control medications. From this review, it is clear that antidepressants of most classes interfere with human sexual functioning, with the notable exceptions of bupropion and nefazodone.

J Clin Psychiatry 2001;62(suppl 3):22-34