CITALOPRAM AND SEX (3 main effects)

What are the effects of citalopram on human sexual function?

This blogspot will answer the question “what are the effects of citalopram on sex life?”. It will be further elaborating on the topics the effects of citalopram on sex drive, the effect of citalopram on sexual health, hypersexuality and citalopram, the effect of citalopram on men’s sexual health, the effect of cialopram in treating premature ejatulation and rapid ejaculation among men and how to manage negative effects of citalopram on sexual life.

Citalopram has many various side effects in sexual health of depressed men and women. Generally all antidepressants have been known to produce negative consequences on sexual health of men and women. 

However researches have argued that serotogoneic influences on sex life of depressed men and women has not been clearly understood yet. Smith and Levitte (1993) stated that selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors like citalopram are not only a source of treating depression but they also treat sexual potency among males and restore it.

Modell, Katholi, Modell and Depalma (1997) researched the various factors attributable for the negative consequences of  citalopram on sexual life. They determined the prescribed dose of the drug, types of serotonin receptors involved and the related effect of serotonin receptors as compared to other receptors. 

Pallanti et al (1999) advocated in their research study that citalopram is the one drug among all the selective  serotonin reuptake inhibitors that is less likely to produce impairments in sexual function.

Dysfunctional sex is a most commnly reported side effect of antidepressant. Research studies have suggested that tricyclic antidepressants usually produce 5-10% of sexual dysfunction among the patients whereas the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors were responsible for 10-30 % of impaired sexual health among patients (Kowalsky, Stanley & Dennerstein, 1985; Shen & Hsu, 1995).

The sexual dysfunction among males and females due to citalopram majorly include :

  • Decreased Libido (sexual desire)
  • Delayed sexual arousal
  • Difficulty reaching orgasm
  • Delayed Ejaculation 
  • Priapismus
  • Delayed response to and from the sexual reflex centers

What are the effects of citalopram on sex drive (Libido)?

There is a negative relationship between citalopram and sex drive of humans. Both depression and antidepression medicines like citalopram can result in a decreased sex drive, libido. As a result, men and women may have sexual anorexia, they may have little or no urge to get sexualy involved and their sexual desires get impaired. 

The low sex drive further leads to vaginal dryness among females and erectile dysfuntion among males. This may result in Hypoactive sexual disorder among men and women. Citalopram or any other antidepressant is not the only cause of a-sexuality or hyporeactive sexual desires. Many other factors also play a vital role in determining sexual dysfunctioning which include environmental factors and life stressors.

Researchers have explained the mechanism of citalopram that leads to low libido among men and women. Carter (2019) in his article in healthline stated that the intake of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors produces a state of calm and rest in the body by increasing the serotonin levels. This inturn leads to decreased libido as it disturbs the reflex mechanisms related to sexual function in the body. The serotonin in our body keeps body hormones from transmitting sexual impulses to our brain, hence the libido gets negatively effectted resulting in decreased sex drive.

What are the sexual side effects of citalopram on women?

The following are the effects of citalopram on women sexual health:

  • Low sex drive (libido)
  • Decreased sexual desire
  • Sexual anorexia
  • Vaginal dryness
  • Delayed lubrication
  • Anorgasmia
  • Feelings of irritability and discomfort during sex

What are the sexual side effects of citalopram on men?

The following are the side effects of citalopram on male sexual health:

  • Decreased libido
  • Delayed Erection 
  • Difficulty maintaining erection
  • Decreased sexual desires
  • Low interest sexual activity
  • Anorgasmia
  • Decreased sperm count

Is there any effect of citalopram on hypersexuality (Sex Addiction)?

Hypersexuality or sex addiciton among men and women have been reported to decrease evidently as result of citalopram intake (Malladi, 2005). 

Research study concluded that citalopram facilitates in treating hepersexuality tendencies among humans with its negative feedback effect on the hypothalamus – pituitary gonadal axis (Grubin, 2004).

Similarly Payette et al (1985) also advocated the effect of citalopram in reducing features of hypersexuality among men and women. The findings suggested that citalopram tends to inhibit the secretagogue action of luteinizing hormone releasing factor on human gonadotrophs.

What is the effect of citalopram in treating premature ejaculation and rapid ejaculation among men?

The role of citalopram in treating premature ejacultaiton and rapid ejaculation among men has been an area of concern for many researchers. 

Premature ejaculation is one of the most commonly faced sexual dysfunction among men. On the other hand, citalopram tends to produce delayed ejaculation among males who are prescribed with it. Hence Moreland and Makela (2005) conducted a study to statistically evaluate the efficacy of citalopram in treating premature and rapid ejaculation among men. Findings from the study suggested that the tendency of citalopram to treat premature ejculation is medicaly therpeutic. 

Clinical trials suggested that selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors including paroxetine, fluoxetine and citalopram significantly increase ejaculation timing. Hence men with premature ejaculation can take advantage of ejaculation delaying properties of citalopram.

How to manage negative effects of citalopram on sexual health?

Following are some of the ways to manage the negative effects of citalopram on sexual health:

  • Ask your doctor to decrease the dose as the negative effect of citalopram on sexual health decreases with a decreased dose.
  • Consider the timing of your medicine. Try to take medicine after getting done with the sexual activity.
  • With the consent of your doctor, switch to an antidepressant that has a low negative effect on sexual  function. For example Bupropion is an antidepressant with a tendency to increase libido.
  • Consider taking psychotherapy as an alternate way of treating depression. This will aid in enhanced quality of life along improved sexual life.
  • Talk to your partner about the dysfunctional features of the sexual cycle and discuss them as being the possible side effects of medicine intake only. 
  • Frequent exercise can result in production of endorphins in human body that reduce the negative sexual health state and reduce depression leading to low dose of citalopram and decreased sexual dysfunction.

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Conclusion

The current blogspot revealed the various adverse effects of citalopram on human sexual health. It elaborated low sexual desire, decreased libido, delayed orgasms, sexual anorexia and delayed ejaculation to be the prominent side effects of citalopram among males and females. Further the blog highlighted various research studies that advocated the use of citalopram in treating rapid ejaculation and premature ejaculation among males. The role of citalopram as an effective medicine in treating hepersexuality has also been discussed.

Frequently Asked Questions: Citalopram and sex

What antidepressants result in hypersexuality?

The antidepressants belonging to selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors class namely Bupropion, Paroxetine and Fluoxetine result in hypersexuality among humans.

Can citalopram cause erectile dysfunction?

Yes, Citalopram is among one of the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors that is used to treat depression among males and has a commonly reported side effect of erectile dysfunction.

Does citalopram make men last longer?

Yes, research has revealed that citalopram produces a delayed ejacultation as a result of which men usually last longer.

What are the sexual health side effects of citalopram?

The side effects of citalopram on sexual health are:

  • Low sexual desire
  • Decreased libido
  • Delayed ejaculation
  • Delayed erection
  • Delayed orgasms
  • Vaginal dryness

What can I replace citalopram with for a more functional sexual life?

In order to minimize the adverse effects of citalopram on sexual health, try to manage depression through:

  • Counseling
  • Psychotherapy
  • A more physically active daily routine
  • Increased socialization 
  • Switching medicine to a less adversely effective one

Citations

Moreland AJ, Makela EH. Selective serotonin-reuptake inhibitors in the treatment of premature ejaculation. Ann Pharmacother. 2005 Jul-Aug;39(7-8):1296-301.

Atmaca, M., Kuloglu, M., Tezcan, E. et al. The efficacy of citalopram in the treatment of premature ejaculation: a placebo-controlled study. Int J Impot Res 14, 502–505 (2002).

Shen WW, Hsu JH . Female sexual side effects associated with selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors: a descriptive clinical study of 33 patients Int J Psychiatry Med 1995; 25: 239–248.

Kowalsky A, Stanley RO, Dennerstein G . The sexual side effects of antidepressant medication: a double blind comparison of two antidepressants in a nonpsychiatric population Br J Psychiatry 1985; 147: 413–418.

Modell JG, Kattholi CR, Model JD, DePalma RL: Comparative sexual side effects of bupropion, fluoxetine, paroxetine, and sertraline. Clin Pharmacol Ther 1997; 61:476–487.

https://ajp.psychiatryonline.org/doi/full/10.1176/ajp.156.5.796

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