• Sex and The Citalopram

    Gemgem87 [sign in to see picture]
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    Hello all!

    I've recently started taking 40mg of Citalopram for anxiety issues, and although it has helped me brilliantly with that I have an unfortunate side effect in that I have a completely reduced sex drive and now find it almost impossible to orgasm during sex.

    Me and my OH used to have a fairly regular sex life which has now dwindled to about once a month, and we are both finding sex extremely frustrating now because I'm unable to orgasm when I used to get mine every time.

    So what I'm asking is whether anyone else is in the same boat and has managed to overcome this, or if anyone has any tips or advice for how I can improve our sex life and my ability to orgasm so we can get things back on track?

    Thanks in advance! xx

    redkite20 [sign in to see picture]
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    I don't have any sex advice, but I would see your doctor about potentially switching your medication. If it is the only thing that works for you then maybe not, but loss of libido is a perfectly reasonable reason to consult your GP, especially if it is intereferring with your quality of life.

    Sum Sub [sign in to see picture]
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    Sadly this is a side effect many experience with most antidepressants and anti anxiety tabs.
    The difficulty in orgasm is easy to solve - buy a wand, a tango and a rosa.
    The lower sex drive is more difficult to overcome and is about communication with your partner - if they can be the instigator more frequently then that'll be great. It's a tricky one though cos your partner won't want to make you feel obligated to respond to every advance - and that's why communication is very important.

    If it really does bother you then go back to your prescriber and ask for an alternative medication, there are many.

    fairehlights [sign in to see picture]
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    Well, I'm glad it works for you, is all I can say!

    I wasnt on Citalopram for long enough to find out, but I know this is reasonably common, and does drop and plateau after a few months. Adding in extra stimulation in the form of toys etc does help, but it's really just a choice of waiting for your body to readjust.

    If its not the only side affect, I'd look at changing your medication before you become dependant, but if it really is working, then you have to weigh up how much having minimum sex life will counteract the Citalopram working.

    El terriblo [sign in to see picture]
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    Hi GemGem87,

    I'm sorry to hear it and believe me when I say I truly am, I was with a partner who was on anti depressants (beta blockers) and sex was always difficult with her, but I lept trying to find new and better ways to not only make her comfortable but also to let her know that it wasnt the be all and end all of our relationship.

    However the effects vary with each person but I should imagine it might be an idea to go get your Dr's advice , as it is very common sadly :(

    In my case it contributed why the relationship went sour( although it wasn't the only reason, so please dont start fretting)

    However since you have said you only just started to use it could it be a case of your body hasn't yet adapted to the drug? If so then maybe in a few months things will be back to normal?

    Anyhow hope it gave you some perspective

    kittencub [sign in to see picture]
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    I've been on this for about three years now some weeks I have a high sex drive others not so, I've stopped worrying now also my age the hormones play up terrible some day's.

    SlinkyRat [sign in to see picture]
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    My sex drive nosedived on citalopram, mirtazapine was slightly better but did make me less likely to climax. Sertraline did the same, but the best by far is the one I'm on now, fluoxetine. Much better moods, anxiety is better, and no impact on sex drive or mechanisms.

    dragoncpl17 [sign in to see picture]
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    OH has been on various anti depressants for the last 10 years, from 100mg a day, now at 20mg daily. All have side effects, some of which are major, some minor. E.g OH suffered skin allergies on Venlafaxine. He currently takes Cetalopram and at times it does reduce libido, and he does have difficulty with orgasm, but this can also be a side effect of the anxiety problems, regardless of the meds. We found discussing the situation with each other made the anxiety levels manageable and our sex life has improved, but it can be a long drawn out process. Our doctor was very understanding of the sexual side effects, some may not be so accommodating. Hope you are as fortunate, hang in there.

    scarab9 [sign in to see picture]
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    I'm now on it. Previously I've had sertralene (sp?) . Know plenty who've been on Ads. Yeah it can be a pain, but its a balance of good vs bad. If the overall is feeling better its worth it.if its just making things worse get off it (slowly and safely!!!!) And maybe try something else. The body adjusts after a few months though and gets used to it so it might be all temporary.

    Getting the Oh to initiate more or simply changing focus can be good too. Sometimes its simply not having the crazy desire rather than not wanting the intimacy and orgasm etc. It takes time to adjust to them though, recognise this is time spent on a long term betterment

    jackjohn [sign in to see picture]
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    i took it for a while, had he same problem, and in the end saw my gp who changed it no problem. i think its a common side effect. see your doctor. good luck x

    Lupina [sign in to see picture]
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    I'm on citalopram at the moment and have been finding it a little difficult (But not majorly) but I've found using the Tracy cox supersex gel to make me more sensitive has really helped to get me there quicker and easier and have also been having to use my magic wand vibrator for more power. I couldn't come back off as I had to fight and go private to get it and its had such a great effect!

    Those are my only tips but I hope everything goes well for you! Good Luck x

    Strange Days [sign in to see picture]
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    Yup... Sertraline here..... Yes, it reduces things, yes it slowly things down and/or reduces sensitivity - but it improves endurance....... Reducing my dose has certainly helped, though, as my situation has improved - currently taking 25mg - half of a 50mg tablet (the smallest size available).

    All the SSRI's have this general effect - so all those mentioned (except Mitazapine). But I would hesitate to change, just to fix this. Citalopram & Mitazapine didnt work for me - but Sertraline does. I would rather be 'happy' and stable on 'S' - with a slightly reduce sexual function, that be totally miserable an dysfunctional on AN Other drug. But YMMV...

    See you GP and discuss the options.

    Spoonerism [sign in to see picture]
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    Hi there, I have bipolar disorder so have been on pretty much every anti-depressant/anxiety/psychotic medication you can think of. Out of the lot, Citalopram was the absolute worst, especially for sexual side effects.

    If the anorgasmia is too much for you (it certainly was for me, not being able to orgasm is a massive trigger for me) go back to your GP and try something else, maybe not an SSRI as they are notorious for this particular problem. Best of luck to you.

    VirginAngel [sign in to see picture]
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    I tried that, did nothibg for me. I'm on clomipramine and get zero side effects after week 1 and that eas just tiredness and constantly yawning even when not tired and nausea an hour after taking. I was on it for ocd mainly, not sure it would be suitable for use in your case

    VirginAngel [sign in to see picture]
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    With most medication related sexual issues its only solved when the medication is stopped.

    Lala23 [sign in to see picture]
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    I've also experienced the same problem (have tried lots of anti d's) - definitely speak to your doctor to see if there is anything they can do. I've never had a really high sex drive but it has always been higher when not on the tablets. Not sure if it could help you at all, but the only reason I'm not on them now is because I had some CBT on the NHS which did wonders for me. Access to talking theropies has improved a lot over the last few years...

    If you do decide to change or stop taking them make sure you follow the doctors advice. I went cold turkey once which was the worst thing I could have possibly done x

    fairehlights [sign in to see picture]
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    Ask for Lofepramine. Explain you want minimum side effects and that some of the medications usually trialled have frequent and severe side effects that impact on your functionality.

    They'll likely try you on Sertraline (nah), Mirtazapine ( No No No you will sleep forever) and a few other ''low risk'' nasties. Lofepramine is a different class of drug and much more stable. It's one they'll go to eventally, but if you want to skip the year or so of tryin different meds, just ask for it.

    It has very few side effects (the main one is slight headaches, and they're really minimal) and it does wonders for.... not fixing anxiety, but lessening it and making you a lot more stable, so you're in a better position for dealing with your anxiety. I recommend it highly.

    blonde vixen13 [sign in to see picture]
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    I fried five different anti ds and everyone killed my libdo. Only improved as soon as I stopes the meds.

    Naughty Miss K [sign in to see picture]
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    My sex drive vanished when my anxiety etc really started playing up big time. Sertraline didn't work for me, and I still had no sex drive until about 5 months in when it was hit and miss (till it went I'd always had a v high sex drive)
    Now on citalopram and sex drive seems to be okay, but it isn't working for MH stuff so need to play around with the dose. Yay -.-

    If it really is effecting you speak to the dr, but as others have said weigh up orgasm v functioning/stable/happy etc.

    Also, while it's useful talking to other people about meds, the side effects are so personal don't take it all to heart. Try taking a look at the mental health forum, they have a sex subsection and a meds sub section, people can be quite helpful on there :)

    Best of luck, and smiley days to all the other hapy pill takers!

    Gemgem87 [sign in to see picture]
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    Thanks everyone for your replies! Wasn't expecting so many, so truly thank you :)

    I think the best thing for me will be to discuss with my doctor and get his advice, but also I think it might be worth discussing this with my OH a bit more too like some of you have suggested.

    I think the problem is that I'd struggled with anxiety for so long that the side effects didn't even occur to me, I was just so glad to have a "cure" for that. But I guess it's just finding the right balance for me.

    Thanks guys, much appreciated xx

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