Sex and Psychiatric Medication

The Birds and the Bees

For most of us, being in a loving relationship includes intimacy expressed as a sexual relationship. Intimacy is a natural expression of our humanity. But what happens when your sexual function is impacted by side effects from medication you must take to help manage your mental health and well-being?

Just the Facts

Sadly, it’s true. Some medication needed to manage anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, and even some even some ADHD medications such as stimulants, have sexual side effects that can be challenging to work through. It seems unfair, doesn’t it, that this high level of intimacy can be difficult to achieve because of certain medications needed to effectively manage one’s mental health.

What Happens?

Some medications used to manage your mental health disorders/issues can cause diminishment of sexual functions in several ways, including: 

  • Loss of desire/libido
  • Inability to achieve orgasm
  • Discomfort during sex including lubrication issues for women and erectile dysfunction for men

There are ways to manage these side effects so you can enjoy a full and satisfying sex life. This blog will provide information on the medications that are most likely to cause sexual side effects, as well as tips on how to manage them.

What Medications Are Most Likely to Have Sexual Side Effects?

While the risk for sexual side effects can occur with any medications, some psychiatric medications are much more liklely than others. Certain antidepressants in the SSRI category are reported to impact sexual functioning. These medications include:

  • Escitalopram
  • Sertraline
  • Fluoxetine
  • Citalopram
  • Paroxetine

Antipsychotic medications known to induce sexual side effects include:

  • Aripiprazole
  • Amisulpride
  • Clozapine
  • Haloperidol
  • Risperidone

How To Manage

There are ways to manage these side effects so you can experience the fullest, most enjoyable (and pleasurable) life possible. Management of sexual side effects can include strategies such as:

  • Giving your body a few weeks to adjust to a new medication
  • Changing the dosage of your medication
  • Changing to another type of medication that can manage your mental health symptoms
  • Adding another medication (like Viagra, for example) to counteract the sexual side effects you might be experiencing

Medication Management

For those in New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut, Jason Meisel, NP, and Stephanie Owusu, PMHNP, of Meisel NP Psychiatry are available to support you with medication management. Meisel NP Psychiatry is located in the Park Slope area of Brooklyn, NY, and treatment is available for those in the tri-state area.

As psychiatric practitioners, we want to help you manage your mental health so you can live your best life. Part of that is finding the right balance of medication that allows you to live harmoniously and well while still enjoying full and gratifying intimate and sexual relationships. Contact us at 740-777-6184 or [email protected] for compassionate, comprehensive care provided in a safe environment. We hope to help you live a full, satisfying life.

Disclaimer: The information contained here was not written by a medical doctor and is intended for informational purposes only. This is not a substitute for medical advice.

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