Prozac and Sex Drive: Impact, Effects and Treatment

Last Updated: June 24, 2020

Authored by Roger Weiss, MD

Reviewed by Michael Espelin APRN

Prozac sexual side effects are common in both genders. Unfortunately, a large part of those who take antidepressants complains about low libido, having erectile dysfunction, or experiencing difficulties with having an orgasm. Understanding how antidepressants work and how they affect sex drive can help a patient to deal with their unpleasant effects.

Why Fluoxetine Can Affect Sex Drive

Fluoxetine is the active ingredient in many antidepressants and it’s often used as another name for Prozac. This medication is part of a drug family called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, or SSRIs for short. Fluoxetine raises the levels of serotonin in the body by inhibiting the reuptake of serotonin. The high serotonin level determines the user to feel calm and less anxious.
Unfortunately, in order to raise the serotonin levels, fluoxetine stimulates some receptors in the spinal cord. Prozac chemical structure ingredients stimulates the receptors in the spine, the hormonal signals that are normally produced in the lower body as a response to sex have a difficult time reaching the brain. This is how SSRIs antidepressants can lower the sex drive.
Prozac can also influence the person’s body mass – dome individuals are likely to gain weight which affects libido and self-confidence. Fluoxetine and weight loss combination is also possible; however the side effects of such way to keep fit include the sex drive adverse reactions as well.

Prozac Sexual Side Effects In Men

sad man sitting on the bed next to his girlfriendThe side effects of Prozac are more common in men than women. Men who take antidepressants can experience a decrease in sexual desire, a decrease in arousal, or both at the same time. Unfortunately, for men who take Prozac erectile dysfunction is not uncommon. Because of the decreased sexual desire and the reduced arousal, men often find it difficult to get an erection. Some men have trouble maintaining one. In some cases, men who took Fluoxetine had difficulties reaching an orgasm.

Fluoxetine Sex Drive Side Effects In Women

Even though the adverse effects of Prozac are more common in men, they are more powerful in women. Sadly, the Prozac sex drive of women is lower than the normal one. Women who take Fluoxetine are also more likely to notice a decrease in their arousal. They can also experience a delayed lubrication. Usually, women on antidepressants can experience a delayed or a lack of orgasm. The other issue is fluoxetine pregnancy risks – this drug might decrease fertility and affect fetus, so the risks and benefits shall be weighted by doctor.

How To Reduce Sexual Adverse Effects Of Prozac

The following strategies can help to reduce the sexual adverse effects of Prozac:

1. Drug Adaptation

Once a user starts taking a normal dose of Prozac, one will go through a phase of adaptation or accommodation. So one needs to wait and see if things get better. Up to 10% of those who take antidepressants experience a spontaneous remission. However, do not hesitate to contact a medical specialist if experiencing Prozac withdrawal symptoms.

2. Reduction In Medication Dosage

Patients should consult with a physician and talk openly about the adverse effects caused by the antidepressants. A reduction in the Prozac dosage may make things better without affecting the primary condition.

3. Switching Medicationswoman holding different blisters with medications

If one experiences unpleasant adverse effects, they can always ask a physician to change the medication. Stopping Prozac is an option. This is not the only effective SSRIs, and others might have a minimal impact on sexual functioning. However, the results vary for every individual.

4. Adjunct Treatment

Physician can prescribe medication that can counteract the unpleasant effects of Prozac. Substances like bupropion, tamsulosin, or sildenafil can help in some cases

5. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Sexual dysfunction can be treated with the help of cognitive behavioral therapies such as couple counseling. These therapies can help to change the way of thinking, allowing to manage the negative feelings determined by Prozac libido decrease that usually has a huge impact on a person’s self-image and self-esteem.
Prozac sexual side effects are frequent in both genders but these effects shall not govern the sex life. Everyone reacts differently to antidepressants, so one shouldn’t be afraid or ashamed to talk to a professional about the adverse effects experienced.
If someone suffers from sexual dysfunctions as a side effect of Fluoxetine use and would like to receive more information about professional rehab and addiction centers, call this 24-hour hotline at (888)-459-5511 to speak with a well-informed representative.

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Published on: June 27th, 2018

Updated on: June 24th, 2020

About Author

Roger Weiss, MD

Dr. Roger Weiss is a practicing mental health specialist at the hospital. Dr. Weiss combines his clinical practice and medical writing career since 2009. Apart from these activities, Dr. Weiss also delivers lectures for youth, former addicts, and everyone interested in topics such as substance abuse and treatment.

Medically Reviewed by

Michael Espelin APRN

8 years of nursing experience in wide variety of behavioral and addition settings that include adult inpatient and outpatient mental health services with substance use disorders, and geriatric long-term care and hospice care.  He has a particular interest in psychopharmacology, nutritional psychiatry, and alternative treatment options involving particular vitamins, dietary supplements, and administering auricular acupuncture.


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  • Rosalind Tejada
    “PRAISE THE LORD!!!!!!!” Good evening. My situation is the “opposite” from some others pertaining to having a lack of sexual arousal. I am 68 yrs of age, and Iv not had intercourse since 1992 with no one. From time to time, Iv had to self-gratify myself when urges are strong. Im no longer fornicating, & Iv been having a very rough time trying to stay abstinent. Im taking “fluoxetin 40 mg” for chronic pain etc, and the arousal have not changed but, have only gotten stronger. “HELP!!!!!” ANY SUGGESTIONS WILL BE GREATLY APPRECIATED. VERY SINCERELY, ROZKJ* “JESUS!!!!!!!”