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Celexa - Anorgasmia

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#1 tryp


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Posted 20 April 2009 - 03:42 PM

Well, after all that kerfluffle about SSRIs and sexual side effects and my freaking out about the whole thing, turns out the Celexa actually does render me completely incapable of getting off (and trust me, I've tried very hard, on several occasions over the past two weeks).

My pdoc had originally said that if it happened, we could add Wellbutrin, probably not right at the moment, but once the Celexa has had time to fully settle in and I'm done with my exams. Is Wellb okay for people with anxiety problems? I'm concerned that doing that would just amp me up and knock out all the gains I've made on ADs (other than the sex stuff, Celexa seems very promising, even though it's early days yet). Is there anything else I can do that would have a lesser chance of fucking with my anxiety problems? Should I look into switching to Lexapro? Pdoc doesn't like to use Lex because she says she has less freedom in dosing, but she might do it if I asked her to. Would that help without risking the gains I've made on Celexa (sanity IS more important than sex, if it comes down to that)? How long should I let the Celexa settle in for before thinking about an add-on?

Also, I don't want my cocktail getting any bigger than it needs to be - I don't want to fall into the polypharmacy trap.

Will the sexual side effects subside with time? At first, I felt completely numb down there, but now I just feel less and I can't get off. Pdoc says they won't go away with time, but I've heard that sometimes they do.

I'm in a serious relationship at the moment, but we're not having actual sex involving anything below the waist, even though it may go that way eventually. And even if we did, I guess I wouldn't NEED to be able to have an orgasm. It would just help, that's all. Pdoc is understandably concerned about my ability to have sex, because I have about a million sexual hangups already, and we both think I don't need a million and one. But I'm seriously considering just sucking up the anorgasmia. I guess I have mixed feelings about running down the medication road too fast or too hard. On the other hand, 19 is a little too young to give up on the idea of having proper sex.

Pdoc offered to take me off the Celexa, but it seems to be helping so far, and I really don't want to go off without being able to say that I gave it a good, solid try.

So - ignore or medicate? And if medicate, with what?

Dx: Complex PTSD
Tx: Lamictal (225 
) + prazosin (7.5) + therapy (something something danger zone)

#2 Tenebrae


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Posted 20 April 2009 - 04:51 PM

i had the same issue with celexa and changed to cymbalta which has helped me the most of all ADs i have tried over some 30 odd years and doesn't offer the same side effect.

the anorgasmia can be devastating to sexual intimacy

it was worth it to me to switch.
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#3 tryp


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Posted 20 April 2009 - 05:32 PM

Very true, Susan. I'm not planning to do anything about it for at least another few weeks, anyway. I told pdoc I was going to stick it out and I will.

It just makes me feel better to know that eventually I'll have options if I want to take them.

Edited by tryp, 20 April 2009 - 05:33 PM.

Dx: Complex PTSD
Tx: Lamictal (225 
) + prazosin (7.5) + therapy (something something danger zone)

#4 Artemisia



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Posted 20 April 2009 - 05:33 PM

All the antidepressants I've taken have caused anorgasmia, except maybe the Wellbutrin (which has been added to alleviate it). Wellbutrin is pretty iffy when it comes to anxiety disorders, but I guess you can always dump it if it doesn't help. Some people report success after adding Wellbutrin...
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#5 Deepster



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Posted 20 April 2009 - 05:48 PM


I have only been on 2 SSRIs.....Paxil and Celexa. Both rendered me totally sexless. Not only did I lose my ability to acheive erection, I lost ANY interest in sex whatsoever. The most sexual person in the world could have been provocative to me, and I would have just felt disconnected from the whole thing. I had really, REALLY bad other SEs on Celexa, which is a whole 'nother story. So, it sounds like anorgasmia is the greatest SE you are facing. Well, the bad news for me on both of these meds is that I was NEVER able to overcome THAT SE.....Paxil for 7-8 years, and Celexa for 60 days....I was a totally sexless human being the whole time.

I now take Pristiq, and the urge and ability have returned, and I feel the med is working well for me. I think you, or someone right after your OP mentioned Cymbalta. Well, like Pristiq, it too is an SNRI, so there may be hope there if things don't improve on the Celexa.

My pdoc has clearly and adamantly steered me away from WB due to the severity of my anxiety and panic issues, eventhough I have requested it, and discussed it with her on a number of ocassions.

My best to you in getting this BIG issue resolved.


#6 tryp


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Posted 20 April 2009 - 06:07 PM

I think if I had NO interest in sex, that would be a dealbreaker.

I still seem to be able to feel sexual and have sexual contact, I just can't get off, so it's not AS urgent as it could be.

My girlfriend and I can still have fun, so that's good.

It's just really sucky that I can't get off. It feels weird and unpleasant.

Dx: Complex PTSD
Tx: Lamictal (225 
) + prazosin (7.5) + therapy (something something danger zone)

#7 beetle



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Posted 20 April 2009 - 07:59 PM

Hey tryp, sorry to hear you're having this s/e. I've had the anorgasmia on every SSRI I've tried and both SNRIs I've tried (effexor and cymbalta). On effexor, wellbutrin was added to try to counter the anorgasmia. It didn't work. It did work on boosting my libido, which is low anyway, for whatever reason. So, that was more frustrating because my libido was higher and I still couldn't get off. On wellbutrin alone, no problem. But nothing ever worked to fix the anorgasmia while I was on any kind of med that reuptook (that a word?) serotonin. Doesn't mean it'll be the same for you, just giving you my experience.

As for wellbutrin's effect on anxiety, I couldn't give you personal experience as that wasn't an issue for me.

It eventually can come down to a compromise. Am I whacked out enough that I need this med despite the side effects? I made the decision, for awhile, to stay on effexor even thought it killed my sex life. Eventually though, I changed my mind and went on a quest to find meds that would work without that side effect. I'm still on the med go round.

Edited by beetle, 20 April 2009 - 08:01 PM.

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#8 Mayteana


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Posted 20 April 2009 - 11:09 PM

Hmm, I agree with the wait and see how it goes with the Celexa.

I don't remember Wellbutrin doing anything that changed my sex drive. Or anxiety. But a lot of people do add it, so it's a good choice if you eventually go that route.

I do remember that Buspirone seriously increased my sex drive. But that's an unpopular med that lots of people don't like.

And because someone said it... leave the whole subject of orgasm alone for now. The more you worry, the more likely you are to not get there. Being intimate and not getting off... well... I've met very few women who can get off all the time anyway, so its really not that odd.

When life itself seems lunatic, who knows where madness lies? Perhaps to be too practical is madness. To surrender dreams - this may be madness. To seek treasure where there is only trash. Too much sanity may be madness. And maddest of all, to see life as it is and not as it should be.


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#9 daisy



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Posted 21 April 2009 - 12:01 AM

I had the same problem recently when I was on Pristiq. I added Wellbutrin and it definitely changed things! And now that I'm off Pristiq and only on Wellbutrin... it's been a very happy few days.

Wellbutrin can cause anxiety in some people. My anxiety isn't affected at 150mg at all. I can tell SOME difference with 300mg, though my anxiety still isn't too bad. 450mg has my anxiety through the roof, but I need something to really fight the depression right now, so it's worth it for me.

But anorgasmia on meds can go away once you get used to the medication.

At a certain point, we'll have to decide which side effects we're willing to accept in order to get better. If we still have other treatment options, we can also choose what side effects we really aren't willing to accept. Like you said, you can still have tons of fun with your girlfriend. But if it's an issue you're going to worry about a lot, then maybe it's worth looking into other things.

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#10 tryp


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Posted 21 April 2009 - 09:16 AM

I don't know if it's going to be a dealbreaker or not - I'm definitely going to wait for things to settle down before I make any decisions.

I guess it just bothers me on some level, not being able to get off when I masturbate (not a problem I've ever had before). It's not like I NEED to masturbate, or like I even miss it. It's just sort of upsetting somehow. Like my body is crapping out on me. Given all the crap I've had with my asthma and with sex in general, it's a tad bit upsetting for me to have the "my body is crapping out" feeling - I think that's at the root of why I'm upset about this side effect.

Also - I guess this is probably going to sound weird, especially to those of you who have been around this road tons of times, but I've never actually had sex before. And if gf and I do end up having sex in the future, I want to remember that when I had sex for the first time, my body was working. Which is a silly thing to worry about, because we're not actually having sex at the moment, and I'm not THAT worried about it. It's just something I think about sometimes. Of course, the more important point is that I would ALSO like to remember that I was mostly sane. Which is a more important qualification. This is sort of the first real sexual relationship I've been in in my life, so maybe I don't have a hell of a lot of perspective.

Anyway, I'm very glad to be feeling more sane, and I've decided that I'm going to stick it out on the Celexa, and I will. It's not a dealbreaker side effect. And if it's still around in a few months, I guess pdoc and I can readdress it then.

Thanks everyone for sharing your thoughts/experiences. Definitely gave me some things to think about.

Edited by tryp, 21 April 2009 - 09:17 AM.

Dx: Complex PTSD
Tx: Lamictal (225 
) + prazosin (7.5) + therapy (something something danger zone)

#11 scatty


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Posted 21 April 2009 - 02:13 PM

I know how frustrating that can be! I have some anxiety issues, and I didn't get more on wellbutrin. I like the drug personally. It's worth a try. I was on celexa before, so i know how numbing sex is on it. I hope you and pdoc can work something out.

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#12 tryp


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Posted 29 May 2009 - 08:00 PM

Update: Well, Susan was right, and over the past few months it seems to have gone from absolutely intolerable to mildly annoying.

I can't go from zero to orgasm the way I used to - just whip it out anytime - but if I go and watch some porn or read erotica for a while, my stuff seems to work fairly well as long as I take the time to work up to it.

So it's annoying, but no longer a dealbreaker, and I might not even need to add a med for it.

That's a relief.

Susan, you were right and I was wrong.

Dx: Complex PTSD
Tx: Lamictal (225 
) + prazosin (7.5) + therapy (something something danger zone)

#13 mika


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Posted 29 May 2009 - 08:54 PM

I have NO urge for sex at all. And I have no idea which med is causing it... IT SUCKS!
Dx: Complex PTSD, Epilepsy

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#14 HAL9000


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Posted 21 November 2011 - 02:36 PM

Sorry I'm coming to this thread so late to the party but... I tried Celexa (Generic) first had the anorgasmia (Not total but so difficult it felt - not worth the effort) So, I went to Wellbrutan SR (The generic) and the Anorgasmia went away. And once some personal issues were resolved we became 7 day a week bliss which was really great. Then the issues got more complicated and anxiety became the big problem rather then depression so I went back on Celexa. The hope was that combined the two drugs would not cause the Anorgasmia. I "get" the point about trying so hard it doesn't work and thinking too much about this causing it to happen.

I guess my question is how long is a fair run on Celexa before I ask to quit it and or is there some other way to get rid of the Anorgasmia?

I've been using a small dose of Valium for the really bad anxiety stuff *Which seems to help. I wonder if thats the way to go? Wellbrutan SR and Valium as needed??

Anyhow any thoughts suggestions, experiences are very welcome.

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ExMeds:Diazepam(Valium®), Vistaril(Atarax), Citalopram (Celexa®), Trazadon *Never worked.

#15 tryp


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Posted 21 November 2011 - 02:42 PM

The general rule of thumb is that you should give a medication 6-8 weeks to work. When I was on Celexa, I think the anorgasmia got better after the first few months, though it never completely went away.

It depends on you - if this is a dealbreaker side effect for you, then tell your doctor that. If you think that you might be able to tolerate it if the Celexa works well for you, then wait to see how well it works before you decide.

Dx: Complex PTSD
Tx: Lamictal (225 
) + prazosin (7.5) + therapy (something something danger zone)

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