sexual side effects

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Started on 20mg citalopram today after being on cymbalta 60mg(side effects included no libido,insomnia,sweating etc) for depression and social phobia.

I was wondering are the sexual side effects of citalopram really bad?

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  • Posted


    Can`t help u by telling u personal experience, however, many drugs of the anti-depressant family can have this effect.

    The react differently with different people. Its trial and error Im afraid. ( no consolation, I know)

    Good Luck

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  • Posted


    I have been with my b/f for 9 months and I am very worried about the effect citalopram has on him mentally (trouble stringing sentences, terrible short term memory, lethergy...) and sexually.

    He has been on citalopram for over 4yrs, 20-30mg/day, and for not other reason than my gut feeling, (which 99.9% of the time is spot on) I'm not convinced it's the correct drug for him (he has cyclical depression).

    I too have been on antidepressants for 1yr (Mirtazapine for reactive depression), I've had integrative and CBT counselling, in fact my mother is also a clinical psychologist, so have grown up with an almost innate understanding and personal interest in all such matters. Also a number of my friends coincidentally have either previously been on or are currently taking various antidepressants.

    Anyway, back to my question/concern. It's not that my b/f's labido has waned, quite the contrary, the effect citalopram has on him is much more physical. To put it bluntly, he finds it hard to sustain an erection and is never able to stay fully hard. Sorry to be so graphic. We've tried using one variety of viagra but it didn't really help :o( I love my b/f but am really dissatisfied with our sex life. I have a very high labido and have never had this issue before in past relationships...

    Has anyone else experienced this? I am trying to be understanding and supportive, and am certainly not about to finish with him over this, but need to do something... Help, does anyone have any advice?

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    • Posted

      Yes. I developed the same situation. Never had a problem before but after only a few weeks in of using citalopram 20mg I started to notice I wasn't fully hard and would also lose my erection during sex. So I quit taking the medication soon after and to this day it is still an issue and I've been off citalopram for 2 years. That problem alone can be depressing and have a bad effect on the mind. Cause I've had a few partners who think they're the problem. Now I'm stuck paying outrageous prices for E.D. medication. I would not recommend citalopram to anyone for this reason.

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  • Posted

    Hi to bhoy30 and concerned g/f,

    Without attempting to generalise I can tell you from personal experience of Citalopram that sexual dysfunction is a known side-effect in both genders. In my own case I was taking 40 mg daily and could maintain an erection but at the point of climax a switch went off in my brain and everything stopped. Very frustrating. My g/f was in your position concerned g/f. We have a very close relationship, are very attached, (her names is Bree, hence Breezman); in fact she says I am the other half of her soul. But this dysfunction was a problem, so for that reason I decided to reduce my dosage.

    I discussed this with my psychiatrist (I have \"major depression\"wink, and he agreed that I try reducing to 30 mg for a month, then 20 mg for a month, then discuss again.

    I can advise you that in my case the dysfunction disappeared completely at 20 mg. It was, therefore, a side-effect of the medication, not a symptom of depression. In my case. I should point out that 20 mg does for me what 10 mg or 60 mg might do for another. It depends entirely on the Seratonin imbalance you are trying to address, and that is different in everybody. I should also add that I felt I was ready to reduce anyway, that the constant fog of depression was not as dense and all-consuming as it had been.

    I suggest you discuss this issue with a competent medical person. In my case this must be a psychiatrist because it is only at this educational level in Australia that Citalopram can be prescribed after maximum dosage of any other anti depressant. My only other advice to you both is to discuss this with your partner. In my case, my partner felt like there was something wrong with her, that deep down I did not find her attractive, and this was starting to erode her self esteem too. So it was very important for me to assure her that this was not the case, although she still believed it was, but that at least I was being considerate to her.

    When I phoned her on my way out of the doctor's rooms to tell her the news I could feel her relief. So do please discuss this frustrating situation with your partner, because you may find, as I did, that everything was there, I was just being denied access by too much chemical.

    Kind regards

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  • Posted

    My personal experience of citralopram was anorgasmia (inability to organsm or ejeculate). My libido and erectile function were not affected at first. They became so later, but as a result of thinking \"what's the point\".

    I did have some very enjoyable sensual experiences, but let's face it, men are goal-oriented (I am gay) and it did become an issue for my partner.

    I found that 2-3 days off the tablets I could sexually function before my original symptoms re-appeared (just, it was a bit of a fine line). My doctor said this was ok, as long as I was careful. It's a bit of a hassle having to arrange nookie in advance, but hey, I'm managing. Which is more than I was doing before, lol.

    Apparently Mirtazapine does not have this side-effect. I tried that, but was so knocked-out by a hung-over feeling that I decided to go back to Citralopram.

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  • Posted

    Hey there

    I was on Citalopram for 9 months and I the sexual side effects for me have been very concerning! During my time on them I had really reduced libido and when I did actually managed to feel something I could never climax sad I have been with my G/F since before Xmas 07 and I did comment on this issue when we first got together and she understood.

    I came off the tablets in June 08 and I'm still having the same same problem, has anybody else had such long term effects? It's becoming very frustrating and my G/F is starting to think it's her!

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