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Sexual/libido Problems After Quitting Prozac (long Term) - Should I Go Back On Prozac?


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#1 Dan-O

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Posted 04 April 2007 - 06:09 PM

Hi all, I'm Dan and I've suffered problems with depression, anxiety and social anxiety pretty much most of my life.

After being on it since 2001, I quit Prozac four years ago. I was on it for two and a half years and I found it almost instantly helped my depression. I became a new man, more active, lost weight, felt inspired and motivated, tried new things. The tedious, monotonous grind of my 'normal' life suddenly transformed and I actually *enjoyed* being alive. Though I was still shy, I accepted my social problems and became far more comfortable being me/'me'.

One of the things that initially put me off about taking Prozac back in 2001 was its widely reported 'sexual side effects' problem. As I was so depressed, and sex wasn't really an issue (being that I was so shy I never got any anyway!) I took the plunge. Surprisingly, I found that I actually had an increased libido/sex drive whilst on the drug.

The drug kind of stopped working for me in early 2003. I was getting depressed again, my emotions were dead and I wanted/really needed to feel things again, so I stopped cold turkey and had a massively bad withdrawal. My whole world felt like it had fallen apart, I couldn't stop crying, I lost my mind, it was pure depression and I had a breakdown.

One thing I noticed afterwards, though, was that my sex drive seemed to be low, far lower than it was even before I went on the drug. My actual desire/libido seemed to have vanished for the most part. Sensitivity 'down there' seemed to have diminished to around half of what it was, the body-mind interface felt weak and grey and empty. It kind of felt (and still feels) kind of 'separated'. Without thinking too much, I put it down to depression, as did my doc (who prescribed me Celexa, which I was afraid to take due to my withdrawal from Prozac.)

Over the last 18 months, I've got to the point where I can manage my depression/anxiety fairly well without meds but I still have virtually no libido. Even when depressed in the time before Prozac, I still had a big interest in sex and everything worked great 'down there'. Now, I barely ever think about it, only on fleeting occasions, and I've just met the love of my life and need these things to work! I mean, I do have a lot of depression and anxiety still, and these may be contributing factors, but it just feels so weird.

I've read up lots about 'PSSD' (Post-SSRI Sexual Dysfunction) and in some cases this thing can be permanent! Reading up about it has put the fear of God into me.

I've thought about going back on Prozac to see if my libido comes back but, if it doesn't (and it has been caused by PSSD) I don't want to damage my libido any further.

Has anyone had this experience and has going back on Prozac helped??

(Or am I eternally damned?...)

#2 Guest_SarahN_*

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Posted 07 April 2007 - 03:53 AM

Hi Dan,

I am sorry to hear about your problems, have you ever discussed this with your GP or pdoc?
I hope you will find a way to solve your problem soon.

Take care,

SN :hearts:

#3 Dan-O

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Posted 09 April 2007 - 06:54 PM

Hi Dan,

I am sorry to hear about your problems, have you ever discussed this with your GP or pdoc?
I hope you will find a way to solve your problem soon.

Take care,

SN :hearts:


Hi Sarah, thanks for your kind words. ;)

I did discuss it with my doc but they said it was probably down to 'depression' and, like I said, prescribed me Celexa (well, Cipralex, which is a variant of Celexa). They are pretty ignorant about stuff like this, and their knowledge of long-term discontinuation problems is even less extensive(!)

I had some hormone tests recently and my prolactin/testosterone levels are fine, I'm in really good physical shape, I just don't get interested like I should, like I used to, even before going on Prozac. After years of isolation, I've met someone who I love soooo much and though I get 'feelings' when I'm around her, the parts that need to work just don't. It's ******* me. I mean, though the 'sex' part isn't even that important, strictly, because the love is so strong between us, I want to give her that side of me too. I *know* it's there, I feel it in brief, passing moments, and it's strong, but it's just so frustratingly buried and I don't know how I can dig it up at present...

I mean, if I was on Prozac and had lots of sexual desire, and my current non-medicated depression IS causing my lack of libido, would going back on it cause it to come back? Or would I just get even worse??

Me is going crazy here!!!!!!!!

#4 Bismarck924

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Posted 20 April 2007 - 04:57 PM

Hi Dan,

I am sorry to hear about your problems, have you ever discussed this with your GP or pdoc?
I hope you will find a way to solve your problem soon.

Take care,

SN :hearts:


Hi Sarah, thanks for your kind words. ;)

I did discuss it with my doc but they said it was probably down to 'depression' and, like I said, prescribed me Celexa (well, Cipralex, which is a variant of Celexa). They are pretty ignorant about stuff like this, and their knowledge of long-term discontinuation problems is even less extensive(!)

I had some hormone tests recently and my prolactin/testosterone levels are fine, I'm in really good physical shape, I just don't get interested like I should, like I used to, even before going on Prozac. After years of isolation, I've met someone who I love soooo much and though I get 'feelings' when I'm around her, the parts that need to work just don't. It's ******* me. I mean, though the 'sex' part isn't even that important, strictly, because the love is so strong between us, I want to give her that side of me too. I *know* it's there, I feel it in brief, passing moments, and it's strong, but it's just so frustratingly buried and I don't know how I can dig it up at present...

I mean, if I was on Prozac and had lots of sexual desire, and my current non-medicated depression IS causing my lack of libido, would going back on it cause it to come back? Or would I just get even worse??

Me is going crazy here!!!!!!!!



Dan having the same problem as you had a girlfriend had sex many times a day started taking prozac lost all intrest she would literally have to beg and then when we finally would start doing it i couldnt . So shes gone now .


edited for graphic language.

Edited by All Moderators, 21 April 2007 - 05:47 AM.


#5 Dan-O

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Posted 22 April 2007 - 03:18 PM

^Hi Bismarck. For me, this started AFTER I stopped the Prozac. Before and during it, I was OK, but after my bad withdrawal things seem to change in regards to sexual desire (though I frustratingly can't pin it down just to that!!!)

So, has anyone suffered something similar to me, gone back on the Prozac, and noticed an improvement in libido/desire? Or will it just get even worse if I go back on 20mg?!

#6 springtimeofhisvoodoo

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Posted 24 April 2007 - 12:51 AM

Hmmm..well that's a pickle isn't it!! Gawd, meds suck.

I don't know what will help you. I think honestly a lot of it must be psychosomatic by now. Although I am not discrediting post SSRI sexual dysfunction, I'm sure that because you are focussing on it so much, it doesn't make it any better.

I kind of had the opposite problem. I was on 20 mg daily for years and had absolutely NO sex drive. Then for some reason, in 2005 after switching to another generic brand, I got my sex drive back. So wierd. Then I went on Wellbutrin and man it was THERE. yay, it was sooo nice to have it back. Then back to Prozac again (quit Wellbutrin) but this time I am on a way lower dose and have a sex drive. NO, it's not 100% back, but at least 70% is better than 0%.

I don't think it would do any more damage if you went back on Prozac to try it out and see what happens. Who knows, just the thought that you are back on prozac might even relax you and psychosomatically fix the problem.

or i could be just rambling as am sooo tired.

spring x0x0
Prozac x8 years, Wellbutrin x1 year, Prozac/Wellbutrin combo x2 months, Prozac again x1 year, Currently Prozac-free for ONE YEAR!!! -YAY!

#7 Guest_john_v_r_*

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Posted 25 April 2007 - 10:41 PM

Hey Dan-O: if you want your libido back I'd advise against taking Celexa! For many people it shuts down sex drive and function. If anything you want something that works on dopamine, like Wellbutrin.

I'm sure anxiety is playing a role in your problem. You are putting a lot of pressure on yourself with this "love of your life." Anxiety is about the most efficient way to **** sexual arousal. Have you thought about therapy for anxiety?

#8 Onthewayup

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Posted 19 August 2007 - 07:29 AM

Hey Dan-O: if you want your libido back I'd advise against taking Celexa! For many people it shuts down sex drive and function. If anything you want something that works on dopamine, like Wellbutrin.

I'm sure anxiety is playing a role in your problem. You are putting a lot of pressure on yourself with this "love of your life." Anxiety is about the most efficient way to **** sexual arousal. Have you thought about therapy for anxiety?


Hi. Im aged 25 and when i was put on prozac at the age of 21, i soon realised that somthing had changed for me sexually. During the course of when i was taking prozac, my erection were less form and my orgasm were less intensed.

But as i came of prozac and have been off prozac for over 2 years now, my sexual functioning has got worse! Less able to get natural erections, i dont get erections from visual stimulation liek i use to, and i think its all down to prozac. Things for me sexually are no longer the same. I beleve i am also a sufferer of PSSD.

My only hope now is to try wellbutrin ( Zyban ) as its called here in the UK. I have heard it helps people bring back their sexual functioning after or during their uses of ssri's. If i get zyban to work i will post up on here again giving my experience.

#9 JonMan84

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Posted 22 August 2007 - 04:30 PM

Hi all, I'm Dan and I've suffered problems with depression, anxiety and social anxiety pretty much most of my life.

After being on it since 2001, I quit Prozac four years ago. I was on it for two and a half years and I found it almost instantly helped my depression. I became a new man, more active, lost weight, felt inspired and motivated, tried new things. The tedious, monotonous grind of my 'normal' life suddenly transformed and I actually *enjoyed* being alive. Though I was still shy, I accepted my social problems and became far more comfortable being me/'me'.

One of the things that initially put me off about taking Prozac back in 2001 was its widely reported 'sexual side effects' problem. As I was so depressed, and sex wasn't really an issue (being that I was so shy I never got any anyway!) I took the plunge. Surprisingly, I found that I actually had an increased libido/sex drive whilst on the drug.

The drug kind of stopped working for me in early 2003. I was getting depressed again, my emotions were dead and I wanted/really needed to feel things again, so I stopped cold turkey and had a massively bad withdrawal. My whole world felt like it had fallen apart, I couldn't stop crying, I lost my mind, it was pure depression and I had a breakdown.

One thing I noticed afterwards, though, was that my sex drive seemed to be low, far lower than it was even before I went on the drug. My actual desire/libido seemed to have vanished for the most part. Sensitivity 'down there' seemed to have diminished to around half of what it was, the body-mind interface felt weak and grey and empty. It kind of felt (and still feels) kind of 'separated'. Without thinking too much, I put it down to depression, as did my doc (who prescribed me Celexa, which I was afraid to take due to my withdrawal from Prozac.)

Over the last 18 months, I've got to the point where I can manage my depression/anxiety fairly well without meds but I still have virtually no libido. Even when depressed in the time before Prozac, I still had a big interest in sex and everything worked great 'down there'. Now, I barely ever think about it, only on fleeting occasions, and I've just met the love of my life and need these things to work! I mean, I do have a lot of depression and anxiety still, and these may be contributing factors, but it just feels so weird.

I've read up lots about 'PSSD' (Post-SSRI Sexual Dysfunction) and in some cases this thing can be permanent! Reading up about it has put the fear of God into me.

I've thought about going back on Prozac to see if my libido comes back but, if it doesn't (and it has been caused by PSSD) I don't want to damage my libido any further.

Has anyone had this experience and has going back on Prozac helped??

(Or am I eternally damned?...)


Hey Dan-O, I really feel for you. I've been having similar problems.

After being on Celexa 40mg (I think that was the dosage) for about 4 years without sexual side effects, I switched to Prozac 20mg for about 8 months. The libido declined when I went on to Prozac. I've been off of it for close to 4 months now and the libido seems to have declined even more to where it is practically nothing.

Saw the doctor today and she prescribed Zoloft. Her feeling is that my lack of sex drive (and emotional numbness) is more a function of my OCD/depression than anything Prozac could have done to me.

There could be some truth to this theory. While my libido decreased when I made the switch, it seems to have decreased even more since going off. Perhaps the dose of Prozac was not as effective as the dose of Celexa. This would explain the original decline when I switched drugs as well as the one when I got off of them. So if a lack of seritonin is the problem, it would explain that curve. It would also explain why Prozac caused me sexual side-effects when Celexa never did. In the meantime, I'm realizing that just because I'm managing reasonably well doesn't mean my depression isn't more serious than I think it is. Since getting off these drugs I've thought I'd learned to manage pretty well, but the more I look at it and try to be honest with myself the more I'm beginning to think otherwise. A constant, dull depression still warrants treatment and may be even more dangerous than the more visible kind. Somebody mentioned "dysthymia" here recently. That may be good for you to look at. It's got me written all over it and sounds like it might be relevant to you too. This influenced my decision to go back on SSRIs.

So I will let you know if things improve as I get back on SSRIs (albeit a different one). Our situations sound similar. I'm hoping this is going to work for me. It sounds like a similar route might be promising for you since Prozac initially increased your libido. This would lead me to believe that your symptoms are caused by a lack of seritonin.

From what I understand, the theory behind PSSD is that your brain makes adaptive changes. If that's correct I wouldn't expect continued SSRI use to make it any worse. But the theory that it has more to do with your body's conditions (depression, anxiety) than anything Prozac did might be worth looking into. If Prozac pooped out on you maybe you'd want to try another SSRI.

Of course, I'm no doctor. I'm just some guy. That's important.

I've been researching all this like a madman the past few weeks and the folks here have been very insightful. You may find my threads helpful.

http://www.depressio...mp;#entry270151
http://www.depressio...d...c=15030&hl=
http://www.depressio...d...c=15017&hl=
http://www.depressio...d...c=12719&hl=

Lemme know how it goes my friend. I'll do the same. You know I feel for you.

Edited by JonMan84, 22 August 2007 - 04:36 PM.


#10 Simply Numb

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Posted 07 January 2008 - 05:58 PM

Some people may disagree, but I have no doubt that this prolonged sexual dysfunction is from the use of SSRI's. I have experienced these symptoms that started on the drug, and they continue despite being off all medication for years.

I also feel numb, disconnected from life, I can't emotionally connect to people in the way I use to. I don't feel like a human being anymore. I feel ,empty,boring - permanently and thoroughly dead inside. These drugs have purged me of all my humanity. I fear that I will never be the same again.

Edited by DeeBear, 07 January 2008 - 07:47 PM.
Removed links per TOS


#11 IHATEPROZAC

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Posted 27 January 2008 - 05:55 PM

Hi Dan,

I am sorry to hear about your problems, have you ever discussed this with your GP or pdoc?
I hope you will find a way to solve your problem soon.

Take care,

SN :hearts:


Hi Sarah, thanks for your kind words. ;)

I did discuss it with my doc but they said it was probably down to 'depression' and, like I said, prescribed me Celexa (well, Cipralex, which is a variant of Celexa). They are pretty ignorant about stuff like this, and their knowledge of long-term discontinuation problems is even less extensive(!)

I had some hormone tests recently and my prolactin/testosterone levels are fine, I'm in really good physical shape, I just don't get interested like I should, like I used to, even before going on Prozac. After years of isolation, I've met someone who I love soooo much and though I get 'feelings' when I'm around her, the parts that need to work just don't. It's ******* me. I mean, though the 'sex' part isn't even that important, strictly, because the love is so strong between us, I want to give her that side of me too. I *know* it's there, I feel it in brief, passing moments, and it's strong, but it's just so frustratingly buried and I don't know how I can dig it up at present...

I mean, if I was on Prozac and had lots of sexual desire, and my current non-medicated depression IS causing my lack of libido, would going back on it cause it to come back? Or would I just get even worse??

Me is going crazy here!!!!!!!!

hey there,

actually my story is very similar to that of dan-o. i had been on prozac for about 4 years, got married, enjoyed an active sex life (had 2 kids) and went off of the prozac b/c i really felt my OCD was under control. was off about 2 weeks, experienced the headaches, nausea and even weight gain, but none of these compared to the libido issues. i at first felt like maybe i had had too much to drink(we got home from a rare night out), but realized quickly it was much more than this. it has been 7 weeks now and i am unable to perform on a consistant level, and i realize as i have read it could be excessive stress, or psychsomatic, but this is even when i initiate the sex, and as involved as i am mentally, shall we call it motivated to finish, i get no response downstairs. i was also wondering if going back on the prozac would help, but i will be honest, i felt like a prozac prisoner, it has a long half life, so it gave me a little room to fudge, i mean i would occasionally skip a dose, but after this emasculation, i do not know what to do. i have become depressed (not my orignal problem at all) and was wondering if i should stop concentrating on going back on prozac, and try some of the ED drugs out there, but isn't that just prolonging the problem?? dazed and confused, does anybody out there know of any drugs besides wellbutrin that might reverse these nasty side effects, i really do not want to start another ssri/anti depressant unless i have to.

IHATEPROZAC

#12 jamieileana

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Posted 31 March 2008 - 01:55 PM

i am just curious when the prozac quit working for you why they didnt just increase the dose? just curious as that seems to be what they always do first.

Hi all, I'm Dan and I've suffered problems with depression, anxiety and social anxiety pretty much most of my life.

After being on it since 2001, I quit Prozac four years ago. I was on it for two and a half years and I found it almost instantly helped my depression. I became a new man, more active, lost weight, felt inspired and motivated, tried new things. The tedious, monotonous grind of my 'normal' life suddenly transformed and I actually *enjoyed* being alive. Though I was still shy, I accepted my social problems and became far more comfortable being me/'me'.

One of the things that initially put me off about taking Prozac back in 2001 was its widely reported 'sexual side effects' problem. As I was so depressed, and sex wasn't really an issue (being that I was so shy I never got any anyway!) I took the plunge. Surprisingly, I found that I actually had an increased libido/sex drive whilst on the drug.

The drug kind of stopped working for me in early 2003. I was getting depressed again, my emotions were dead and I wanted/really needed to feel things again, so I stopped cold turkey and had a massively bad withdrawal. My whole world felt like it had fallen apart, I couldn't stop crying, I lost my mind, it was pure depression and I had a breakdown.

One thing I noticed afterwards, though, was that my sex drive seemed to be low, far lower than it was even before I went on the drug. My actual desire/libido seemed to have vanished for the most part. Sensitivity 'down there' seemed to have diminished to around half of what it was, the body-mind interface felt weak and grey and empty. It kind of felt (and still feels) kind of 'separated'. Without thinking too much, I put it down to depression, as did my doc (who prescribed me Celexa, which I was afraid to take due to my withdrawal from Prozac.)

Over the last 18 months, I've got to the point where I can manage my depression/anxiety fairly well without meds but I still have virtually no libido. Even when depressed in the time before Prozac, I still had a big interest in sex and everything worked great 'down there'. Now, I barely ever think about it, only on fleeting occasions, and I've just met the love of my life and need these things to work! I mean, I do have a lot of depression and anxiety still, and these may be contributing factors, but it just feels so weird.

I've read up lots about 'PSSD' (Post-SSRI Sexual Dysfunction) and in some cases this thing can be permanent! Reading up about it has put the fear of God into me.

I've thought about going back on Prozac to see if my libido comes back but, if it doesn't (and it has been caused by PSSD) I don't want to damage my libido any further.

Has anyone had this experience and has going back on Prozac helped??

(Or am I eternally damned?...)



#13 kevvone

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Posted 21 September 2009 - 03:52 PM

I think it's rare that the sexual dysfunction can and will be permanent after taking a anti-depressants for a very long time. Generally over time it does come back. It is possible you're creating a lot of anxiety and hope that it will come back that that in itself is making it difficult. Over time the sexual desire naturally will begin to seep through, but like taking anti-depressants which can take awhile to adapt to and seep into your system, going back the opposite way by waning off of it can take just as long before you are fully sexual responsive. Give it some time and don't worry about it too much and over time it will come back little by little, it just isn't instant is all, but it will be back.

Edited by kevvone, 21 September 2009 - 03:53 PM.


#14 breakingapart

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Posted 15 December 2009 - 11:27 AM

I have the same problem. It's causing me depression and i feel suicidal. I wish i'd read this post a few years back before i went back on prozac...
Onthewayup are you still around? How did you get hod of Zyban in the UK?

#15 kevvone

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Posted 04 June 2010 - 03:19 PM

My update is I've been off Effexor for three months and I'm not on any other anti-depressants. My sex drive isn't back the way it used to be, but it has improved slightly. I was on the meds for three years so it probably takes longer for full drive to be back. I'm gathering it's a slow and gradual process the way your hair grows.

Edited by kevvone, 04 June 2010 - 03:21 PM.





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