Your medications can be extremely useful in treating various diseases and conditions, but sometimes they can also cause unwanted side effects—one of which can be sexual dysfunction. Sexual dysfunction due to medication can result in desire disorder, or a lack of desire or interest in sex; arousal disorder, or the inability to become or stay aroused during sexual activity; and orgasm disorders, the delay or absence of orgasm.
The risk of sexual side effects is increased when an individual is taking several medications. A sexual function consists of the phases of sexual desire, arousal, and orgasm. Both men and women can experience problems in any of these phases. It does not only affect the individual but also impacts their partner.
What is paroxetine?
Paxil is a brand of paroxetine used to treat depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, panic attacks, anxiety (social anxiety and generalized anxiety), and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). It belongs to a group of medicines called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). It is believed that SSRIs work by increasing the activity of certain chemicals working in our brains called neurotransmitters. These pass signals from one brain cell to another. Although we don’t know for certain, the neurotransmitters that are most likely to be involved in depression and some other conditions are thought to be serotonin and noradrenaline. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are the most frequently prescribed antidepressants. SSRIs are called selective because they only affect serotonin.
Does Paroxetine affect sexual function?
Yes, Paxil (Paroxetine) can affect sexual function negatively. Studies have shown that men taking paroxetine have an increased risk of delayed ejaculation, reduced desire, and impotence, defined as the inability to obtain an erection in men.
In women, taking Paxil (Paroxetine) causes inadequate lubrication in women. Vaginal lubrication is an important part of sexual arousal. It readies the vagina for penetration, making it easier for the penis to enter and reducing any accompanying friction or irritation. Pain during intercourse is often caused by inadequate lubrication.
What are the other side effects of Paxil (Paroxetine)?
According to drugs.com you should get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction to paroxetine (hives, difficult breathing, swelling in your face or throat) or a severe skin reaction (fever, sore throat, burning eyes, skin pain, red or purple skin rash with blistering and peeling).
Report any new or worsening symptoms to your doctor, such as mood or behavior changes, anxiety, panic attacks, trouble sleeping, or if you feel impulsive, irritable, agitated, hostile, aggressive, restless, hyperactive (mentally or physically), more depressed, or have thoughts about suicide or hurting yourself.
Call your doctor at once if you have:
• racing thoughts, decreased need for sleep, unusual risk-taking behavior, feelings of extreme happiness or sadness, being more talkative than usual;
• blurred vision, tunnel vision, eye pain or swelling, or seeing halos around lights;
• unusual bone pain or tenderness, swelling or bruising;
• changes in weight or appetite;
• easy bruising, unusual bleeding (nose, mouth, vagina, or rectum), coughing up blood;
• severe nervous system reaction – very stiff (rigid) muscles, high fever, sweating, confusion, fast or uneven heartbeats, tremors, fainting; or
• low levels of sodium in the body – headache, confusion, slurred speech, severe weakness, loss of coordination, feeling unsteady.
Seek medical attention right away if you have symptoms of serotonin syndrome, such as: agitation, hallucinations, fever, sweating, shivering, fast heart rate, muscle stiffness, twitching, loss of coordination, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea.
Common paroxetine side effects may include:
• vision changes;
• weakness, drowsiness, dizziness, tiredness;
• sweating, anxiety, shaking;
• sleep problems (insomnia);
• loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation;
• dry mouth, yawning;
• headache; or
• decreased sex drive, impotence, abnormal ejaculation, or difficulty having an orgasm.
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.