Q. I am under SNRI for stress and experiencing low sex drive. What to do?

Answered by
Dr. Suresh Kumar G D
and medically reviewed by Dr. Nithila A
Published on Oct 05, 2019

Hello doctor,

I have a current issue that I cannot find a solution for the last five years. I suffered from anxiety a debilitating one, and after trying many SSRI, nothing worked except Effexor SNRI, which reduced the stress. Now the problem is that I have no libido and sex drive and all the associated issues. The psychiatrists in my place that I see insist that it is not from the medicine and it is from me. And this thing is annoying, so what can I do to solve this problem also Wellbutrin is not sold in my place.

Dr. Suresh Kumar G D

Child Health Paediatrics Psychiatry


Welcome to icliniq.com.

You may be aware that SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors) and SNRIs (serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors) like Effexor are good at managing anxiety, but it can cause sexual side effects in some people. As your local psychiatrists said, it is also typical for the low libido to be related to anxiety and depressed mood as well. Was your libido normal before you went on Effexor?

If lowering of libido is directly related to commencing Effexor, one option is to try a lower dose and see whether anxiety is controlled and libido improves. Another option will be to switch to mirtazapine which has a lower tendency to cause sexual side effects. I will recommend discussing with your psychiatrist, as you will need to be monitored while making any medication changes. Also, have had CBT for anxiety? It will help you in managing stress when medication is eventually tapered off.

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