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Warning to millions who have been prescribed popular antidepressants with potential side-effect that sparks long-term sexual dysfunction

Patients taking antidepressants are being warned to beware of side-effects that could leave them 'asexual' even after they stop using them - a problem that could affect millions of Brits.

Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), the most common class of antidepressant drug in the UK, are relied upon by one in eight Brits - 8.6million in all - who are dealing with mental health issues like anxiety and depression.

Common SSRIs prescribed in the UK include citalopram, fluoxetine and sertraline, sometimes known by brand names Cipramil, Prozac and Lustral - but their use has been linked to long-term and even permanent sexual dysfunction by researchers.

The NHS has warned that side effects such as a loss of libido and achieving orgasm, lower sperm count and erectile dysfunction 'can persist' after taking them - and patients have described feeling 'carved out', relationships wrecked, from their use.

Men and women say SSRI side-effects have hampered their sex lives, even after coming off of the medications - a condition known as Post-SSRI Sexual Dysfunction (PSSD), which is not officially recognised by UK health authorities.

For millions, antidepressants can be a life-saving drug - but the authors of a US petition urging more warnings to be applied to the drugs say it can be 'impossible... to weigh the benefits of treatment against the harms'.

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Source: Daily Mail, 23 May 2024

Read this opinion piece on the hub by someone who suffers from post-SSRI sexual dysfunction (PSSD) after he was prescribed a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor. The author calls for widespread recognition, improved risk communication and better support for sufferers. 

If you have experience of PSSD, you can also share your insights in our community discussion.


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