Effexor And Libido

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Chris Says:

My boyfriend is on Effexor XR. We have been dating for 10 months and we've been dealing with his very, very low libido. I am very patient with him, but I can see myself eventually running out of patience. We actually haven't been intimate since Mid-July. So at this point it's been 5-months since he's had ANY interest in me. I have been self-reliant, but I am starting to have trouble myself, because I am tired of doing it myself.

Recently he saw his PCP to discuss low libido and energy. His PCP seems to think it may be related to sleep apnea, but I don't think he's right. Yes, my boyfriend does have some trouble in that area, but I don't think it's as bad as he thinks it is. I believe the problem is Effoxor, but I certainly don't want him to go off of it, because he says it's the only anti-depressant that has consistently worked for him.

His doctor actually doubled his dose from 75mg to 150mg. I have read that increasing the dose can actually help with libido! The reason his doctor said he was increasing it was because my boyfriend also suffers from seasonal effective disorder and it's that time of year. I am hoping the increased dosage will restore his libido, but I'm not sure if it will.

Has anyone else experienced this problem? Has increasing the dosage helped? Would increasing it further help even more? Would there be any other negative side effects that we should worry about with increased dosage? I really want this relationship to work, especially after we've been together this long. HELP! Thanks

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Verwon Says:

This medication is actually well known to cause low libido and even an inability to orgasm, in some people that take it, according to FDA reports, and a dosage increase is likely to make it worse, not better.

Yes, any dosage increase could also cause more side effects, others may include nausea, dizziness, headache, drowsiness, dry mouth, and weight gain, according to the NIH.

As to the intimacy issues, please don't assume I am trying to be rude, because I'm not, but 10 months isn't actually a very long time, I'm not telling you to break up with him over side effects from a medication, but while it may seem a very long time, when you're young, as you get older, you realize that 10 months is just the blink of an eye in the grand scheme of things. I don't know how old you are, but age and time both have the habit of changing perspective, and of course, everything in life is relative, so it may seem an eternity to you. I got divorced after being married to someone for 15 years and being with him for 17, but I am now remarried, after staying single for over 6 years, and much happier, the world turns, things change and we move on, though it sometimes hurts and is hard. No matter what, you have to decide what's right for you.

As to the loss of libido, most relationships, no matter how loving and committed, tend to be cyclical, there may be times you are actively intimate a lot, and others where you go long periods that you aren't, there is nothing wrong with it, everyone is different. However, regarding this issue, you also have to find someone that you work well with, so you stay in sync with each other and are both happy with your given frequency of intimacy.

Given your situation, it might also be helped if you just get more playful, come up with some new ideas to seduce him and etc. I can't go into more details about that on here, but there are many websites and books that can help.

The other thing I'd like to ask is what other medications has he tried? There are a lot of options out there and some of them do not cause loss of libido.

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SickofSideEffects Says:
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I lived with a guy with a naturally low libido. I stuck with him 5 years cause he was a good guy. I thought about leaving him 3 years before I did but couldn't get up the nerve. Lack of good intimacy is a big deal, at least for me. Recently, I was on a med Zoloft and it made me unable to climax. I'm sure Effexor is the problem for him. If intercourse is a big deal to you, you are never going to be fulfilled as long as he stays on Effexor. Unless increasing Effexor really does fix the problem, which I'm very skeptical on. Ask him to switch to another med with less side effects for him that still helps his condition, even at a lower level. It's a fair compromise for both of you. And, I believe, a good sex life is a very healthy plus for mental conditions. Personally, I wouldn't stick around if the man didn't give good sex, but there's more to life.

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