Encyclopedia of Sexuality and Gender

Living Edition
| Editors: Amy D. Lykins


Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-59531-3_4-1



Antidepressants are associated with sexual side effects: clinically significant disturbances in sexual desire, arousal, orgasm, or other aspects of sexual wellbeing that develop on starting or stopping antidepressant medications. When sexual side effects are significant (appearing in at least a quarter of all sexual events) and distressing, they meet criteria for “substance-induced sexual dysfunction,” a significant clinical disorder (American Psychiatric Association, 2013).


Sexual wellbeing depends on the complex interplay between multiple neurotransmitters and hormones, including those targeted by antidepressants. The most commonly prescribed antidepressants include selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), selective serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs), and atypical agents such as bupropion and mirtazapine. Commonly reported sexual side effects include...

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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of NebraskaLincolnUSA