DOI: 10.12968/bjon.2023.32.14.678 ISSN: 0966-0461

A clinical review of antidepressants, their sexual side-effects, post-SSRI sexual dysfunction, and serotonin syndrome

Stephen Marks
  • General Nursing

Depression and anxiety are common, with one in six people experiencing symptoms in any given week. Of these people, 8.32 million are prescribed antidepressants. People living with HIV are likely to experience psychiatric disorder, with one in three experiencing depression and anxiety, and being at greater risk of developing post-traumatic stress disorder. Sexual side-effects of psychotropic medication are very common, cause distress, and can persist even after the medication has been withdrawn. Antidepressants are powerful drugs and can have severe interactions with many other substances. This article seeks to raise awareness of sexual side-effects of psychotropic medications and draw attention to ethical issues related to post selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor sexual dysfunction (PSSD). Additional risk factors and interactions between psychotropic medications and recreational drugs are identified. Recommendations are made to improve care and clinical outcomes through the development of therapeutic alliances.

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