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Does SSRI help treat erectile dysfunction?

SSRI and Erectile Dysfunction

SSRI stands for selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, most commonly prescribed medication to treat depression (antidepressant medication). They can help reduce symptoms of moderate to severe depression and are relatively safe and cause fewer side effects than other types of depression medicines do.

SSRI medications include:

  • Citalopram (Celexa)
  • Fluvoxamine (Luvox)
  • Fluoxetine (Prozac)
  • Paroxetine (Paxil)
  • Escitalopram (Lexapro)
  • Paroxetine mesylate (Pexeva)
  • Sertraline (Zoloft)
  • Vortioxetine (Trintellix).

In next section of the article, we’ll discuss about the relation between SSRI and erectile dysfunction (ED).


Antidepressant medication can cause many side-effects, include affecting your sex life. SSRIs help reduce symptoms of depression by selectively inhibiting the reuptake of serotonin in the central nervous system.

It works increase the amount of serotonin and an increased amount of serotonin may affect other hormones and neurotransmitters. These hormones include testosterone and dopamine. This may lead to many sexual disturbances, as testosterone (a sex hormone) may affect sexual arousal and dopamine plays a vital role in achieving orgasm.

Reduced testosterone and dopamine levels may lead to decreased sexual desire and delay in ejaculation; respectively. In addition, reduced sexual desire, impotence, reduced sexual satisfaction and anorgasmia may also happen.

A scientific study has found that the incidence of sexual side-effects was highest with paroxetine medication, followed by fluvoxamine, sertraline and fluoxetine.

Study found that the incidence of sexual dysfunction was similar between fluoxetine and escitalopram. While Paroxetine medication is associated with the highest risk for causing delayed ejaculation, impotence and reduced sexual desire.

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