Can SSRi's increase libido?

Discussion in 'Men's Health Forum' started by Tyler81, Apr 27, 2011.

  1. #1

    Tyler81 Active Member

    Has anyone experienced an increase in libido on an SSRI?

    A few people on this forum have reported increased libido on low dose lexapro.

    Is this possible? :confused:

    I have been resisting SSRi's for YEARS now. The sexual side effects scare the sh*t outta me but i have a feeling my issue is more seratonin than the other neurotransmitters.

    I am currently on wellbutrin which is okay but at the higher dose i wake up in the morning with my heart pounding in my chest (which isn't fun), i can't make eyecontact with people (anxiety), and my short term and long term memory is destroyed. I feel like i have alzheimers.

    And at the lower dose it doesn't help that much.

    So I am wondering if i should bite the bullet and take an SSRi.

    And if so, what's the best one? Zoloft? Lexapro? Prozac? Paxil?

    I've tried both Zoloft and Lexapro but I quit them both within a week. I got too paranoid about the sexual side effects.

    But now that i'm on testosterone maybe the sexual sides won't be that bad...

    Last edited: Apr 27, 2011
  2. #2

    1erCru Active Member

    Its different with every person. Initially they did for me, but over time my T dropped. I have a good friend who is VERY bipolar along with clinical depression. Hes on an anti pyschotic, mood stabilizer, and 60 mg of cymbalta and he says his libido is through the roof. Hes been on these drugs a long time to. He also has a natural T level of 900.

    Its hit and miss. Id say over time libido will drop but if you can keep you T levels optimal via gels who knows.
  3. #3

    CubbieBlue Active Member

    You can try it but in my experience it ain't gonna help.
  4. #4

    1erCru Active Member

    Tyler estrogen also plays an important role in libido. Are you still having issues with libido? Or are you curious about the mild depression you are experiencing?

    You stated your T was 800 ish. It might be a bit high for your biochemical makeup. Its a slippery slope. You'll be on Testim, Wellbutrin, and an SSRI. If you are experiencing anxiety Id cut the wellbutrin.
  5. #5

    chemman Member

    Tyler: Now that you are stabilized on TRT, have you considered dropping the wellbutrin altogether?

    The withdrawal could suck. I had problems even after being on the med for a few weeks. But in the end, you might be just fine with your T levels back in place.

    I'd say it's worth a shot. Memory loss and anxiety would have me running for the hills a long time ago.

    I do, however, very much understand you apprehension of possibly returning back to a depressed state.
  6. #6

    Tyler81 Active Member

    I don't think estrogen plays a factor with me. When it's high or normal or low - i pretty much feel the same. I used aromasin last year to lower it and i felt the same.

    I apply Testim twice a day to keep my estrogen under control. 5grams in the morning and 2.5grams in the evening. This keeps the "peak" value lower which causes less T to be dumped into e2

    I also take DIM, vitamin D3, extra fibre and zinc
  7. #7

    Tyler81 Active Member

    I had a great libido on WB/Testim for a while, but then the WB sort of stopped working and i've been playing around with the dose of both the WB and Testim. I can't tolerate the higher dose of WB because it gives me too much anxiety. But at the lower dose, i can feel it wear off in the evening.

    I've timed it and 150mg wellbutrin lasts exactly 6 hours. Then I feel kinda shitty.
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2011
  8. #8

    Tyler81 Active Member

    Yeah i've considered it. I'm sort of preparing myself to come off it right now. I have started taking it every other day (instead of everyday)

    I could stop it tomorrow even.

    BUT, i've noticed i feel more moody and irritable without it. I sort of snap at people. And if I stop it, and i fall into a deep funk, it takes 6 weeks to start up again.
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2011
  9. #9

    chemman Member

    You might be withdrawing already. The only way you will know for sure if you can be happy without the WB is if you get off of it for weeks straight.

    Did your memory improve on the days you did not take it?
  10. #10

    Tyler81 Active Member

    Yeah I plan to come off it.

    I feel like mid May i will try to completely cold turkey it.

    The weather is getting warmer/nicer - sun is shining and all that shit :p

    I am also excercising more and i am hoping that will help me smoothly come off it.

    Knock on wood.
  11. #11

    Tyler81 Active Member

    No, not really. I think it'd have to be completely off it for a few weeks for my memory to come back to normal.

    I think the medication has about a 36 hour half life so even the "off days" there is quite a bit of bupurion in my system.

    I am alternating on/off to prepare myself to cold turkey it next month.
  12. #12

    Tyler81 Active Member

    How are things going with you, chemman? Has your libido turned on yet?
  13. #13

    jonkobeck Member

    Well, I have a little experience with this.
    I take Lexapro 10mg a day. There seems to be a more pleasing orgasm on the lexapro, and it last a bit longer. I think the reason is that the lexapro sort of numbs the penis. So it takes a little longer to ejaculate.
    But at the same time, the lexapro also decreases the sex drive. Your not as horny. So its a double edge sword.
    The androgel certainly helps.
    I started Androgel 5 months ago. I felt great, no longer felt depressed at all. I felt so good I decided to stop the lexapro. that was a mistake. The depression returned and so did the anxiety. My blood pressure increased because I felt nervous all day. So I went back on the lexapro about 2 weeks ago. Im started to feel better.
    I heard that wellbutrin will increse sex drive, BUT the big drawback with that is wellbutrin is VERY toxic to the liver.
  14. #14

    aqualung Junior Member

    I'm going to chime in with my two cents.

    Although I never had the displeasure of using psychiatric meds on a long-term or daily basi, I can say that it is highly doubtful that you're going to find any answers there -- and almost certain you'll not find any long-term ones. Drugs really are to be avoided unless necessary, IMO. It was a lesson learned the hard way for me. Something like testosterone to replace a physiological lack -- an OBSERVED physiological problem (not a postulated "chemical imbalance"! -- is one thing. But these SSRI's can be bad news, and really often are.

    How does the sensation of lightning striking your brain sound to you as a withdrawal symptom when you decide to come off of them? I mean, seriously, it's like a drug from some evil cartoon character's laboratory!

    Far more frequent than the reports of better sex or better libido -- I don't know if the numbness and reduced libido described by the last post here can be considered sexually positive in any way, BTW! -- are the reports of sexual dysfunction. Including dysfunction that persists beyond discontinuation of the drugs. (These drugs are, as you probably know, prescribed to premature ejaculators for the same reason the last poster mentioned as a potential positive... I feel angry at any doc who writes those pills for that reason. "Cum too quick? Feels too good? Well, let's make sure sex feels like thrusting into a void -- now you'll be a great lover and your girlfriend won't complain." If you cum that quick, you've gotta be able to go another round! It's cheaper and healthier and more fun.

    I've struggled with depression in my life, in a pretty significant way, but I've never used an antidepressant. Not that it's a point of pride, not at all, as I've made equally bad mistakes with my health, but I'm just saying that there are other ways of combating depression, and like you, my fear of side-effects have kept me from using them. And every time I read about what they can do to someone, I'm glad I didn't. I've read horror stories of ongoing, almost complete sexual dysfunction years after discontinuing the drug just like some finasteride users report.

    No one knows their long-term effects (notice how studies always last months or, with less detail, years, not decades? it's at least partially because there is little future in taking drugs in general), and talk therapy is just as effective as drugs, if not more effective, and there is a long-term future in talk therapy, IMO. Unlike drugs which have a funny way of ceasing to work, talk therapy can remain effective for the long haul. There's no pesky receptor downregulation or desensitization or drug tolerance of sexual side-effect you should expect to hamper the long-term viability of a talk therapy. Also, unlike drugs, talk therapy has a greater likelihood of producing changes in you -- organic changes not related to a pharmaceutical insult -- that may leave you with a lasting resistance to depression. Try cognitive behavioral therapy. The book, "A Guide to Rational Living" is a CBT (the author called it REBT, but whatever) self-help book by Albert Ellis which might have actually helped a few people, unlike every other self-help book on this planet!l

    That said, horrible clinical depression that keeps you in bed all day or has you seriously preparing for suicide might require drugs, or probably does. Or inpatient help. But such a condition would certainly also require talk therapy. Seeing a shrink before a psychiatrist is probably wise in any case, the shrink will also take the time to get to know you and can help you decide what to do with regard to drugs.

    Sorry for Tom Cruising you. If only I had the looks to match the crazy! ;)
  15. #15

    chemman Member

    Nah dude.

    I've still got a bunch of problems, the most significant being my autoimmune disease that I am having a hard time getting under control. I think if I didn't feel sick I would be horny.

    Not to scare you off the ssri's, but lexapro did land me in the hospital very very sick. I think it was serotonin syndrome.
  16. #16

    Tyler81 Active Member

    I can say personally that wellbutrin does not increase sex drive. It doesn't decrease it tho. It's pretty neutral for me.

    So you are on androgel and lexapro? It's interesting that you felt best on the combo. I may try lex.

    I was feeling pretty good on WB/Testim but the lower dose of WB isn't cutting it anymore and the higher dose gives me too much anxiety / side effects.
  17. #17

    Tyler81 Active Member

    An autoimmune disease? :confused:

    What dose of lexapro did you take? I'm mainly concerned about how it will affect my sex drive (desire) - i dont want to be like a happy robot who doesnt want sex :p
  18. #18

    aqualung Junior Member

    This is how these drugs affect you even after you quit them.

    From Wikipedia (Post-SSRI sexual dysfunction - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:
    I wouldn't count on being side-effect free. These are drugs that are prescribed for premature ejaculation. They make it harder to cum as a rule. Anyone having no effect or the opposite is an exception.
  19. #19

    jonkobeck Member

    I have been on, and off Lexapro maybe 4 or 5 times over the last few years. I NEVER experienced brain zaps, because I SLOWLY titrate myself off. Even t the point my doctor thinks is ridiculous.
    From 10 mg to 7.5 for one week, then 5 for one week then 2.3 then stop.
    The only side effect I felt was a slight head ache that soon went away.
    Lexapro imo is very safe.
    It is not only used to treat depression, it is also used to treat GAD (generalized anxiety disorder) and Panic disorder.
    When I began the androgel 5 months ago, I was on 10mg a day of lexapr, so it was very easy to notice the increase in sex drive on the androgel.
    That being said, I am thinking about dropping my lexapro dose down to 5mg to see how that works.
    I know plenty of people on 20mg a day of lexapro. In fact, my doctor told me most of his patients take 20, and my dose was very weak.
  20. #20

    zkt Active Member

    If SSRI`s turn you on then you got some very peculiar chemistry going on. They are indicated for PE and cause a decrease in sexual sensations.

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