Getting in the Mood

On the way to elevating mood, antidepressants have a very depressing side effect: Up to half of users suffer loss of libido, erection impairment, decreased vaginal lubrication, difficulty reaching orgasm, or loss of pleasure from orgasm.

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If antidepressants are killing your sex life, ask your doctor about lowering the dose of the medication you take or about switching to Wellbutrin, the antidepressant least likely to cause sex problems. Or ask about the pros and cons of the method recommended by psychiatrist Anthony Rothschild of the University of Massachusetts Medical Center -- drug-free weekends. Rothschild studied 30 couples, each with one partner suffering sexual side effects from Prozac-type drugs. He advised them to go drug-free from Thursday morning to Sunday at noon. Among those taking Paxil and Zoloft, half reported better sex over the weekend. Only two said they felt more depressed. But among those taking Prozac, only one reported sexual improvement, probably because Prozac takes longer to clear from the body.