Male sexual side effects associated with antidepressants: A descriptive clinical study of 32 patients

J. H. Hsu, W. W. Shen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: This is a retrospective study to add to the existing body of clinical information regarding male sexual side effects associated with antidepressants. From the chart review, thirty-four out of eighty male patients were identified to have reported loss of libido, erectile difficulty, anorgasmia, and delayed ejaculation while receiving pharmacotherapy of selective serotonin reuptake blockers (fluoxetine, paroxetine, and sertraline); tricyclic anti-depressants (nortriptyline, imipramine, amitriptyline, desipramine, and clomipramine); and a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (phenelzine). Method: The authors also discussed the management of these sexual side effects by waiting for spontaneous remission, reducing the dosage level, and substituting the offending drug with other antidepressants. Results: This article underscores the underreported nature of antidepressant-associated sexual dysfunction, the high incidence of SSRI- associated sexual side effects, equal potentials in causing sexual side effects among the three SSRI's, the low incidence rate of sexual adverse effects from bupropion, and the minimal need to add an antidote if the side effects are to be managed systematically. Conclusions: Finally, male sexual side effects can occur randomly and involve any sexual phase randomly, and the treatment approaches are similar, regardless of the types of sexual dysfunction associated with antidepressants.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)191-201
Number of pages11
JournalInternational journal of psychiatry in medicine
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 1 1995
Externally publishedYes


  • anorgasmia
  • antidepressants
  • delayed ejaculation
  • erectile failure
  • human
  • loss of libido
  • male
  • monoamine oxidase inhibitor
  • selective serotonin reuptake blockers
  • sexual adverse effects
  • sexual dysfunction
  • tricyclic antidepressants

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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