Ask the Doctor
3-1-2020. Dear Doc, I’m taking medication for depression and find that my sex drive is zilch. Is there something I can take to help with libido? Thanks.
It’s unfortunate that many psychiatric medications cause sexual side effects. This includes antidepressants and some antipsychotics too. They’re great meds for depression, anxiety, psychosis, pain, and plenty more, but they stunt libido and can make it hard to have an erection or orgasm. No worries: there are plenty of medication options to help jump start sex drive. Here’s a list of the most-studied.
Bupropion (or Wellbutrin). Bupropion can help “jump start” libido. It must be taken daily and takes a few weeks to become effective. It’s often used along with other antidepressants to counter sexual side effects.
Stimulants. Stimulants include Methylphenidate and other amphetamines. This group can boost sex-drive — but for some it does just the opposite. Everyone is unique. Amphetamines are highly addicting and should be taken only under doctor’s care. They’re rarely used for augmenting sex drive because of their addiction potential.
Buspirone. This is an anxiety medication that seems to boost sexual appetite. It has to be taken on a daily basis and takes a few weeks to take effect.
Sildenafil and others. Sildenafil (also called Viagra) and medications in this group seem to work best in men, especially for erectile dysfunction, but some studies suggest they can be helpful for women too. Most of these drugs are taken on an “as-needed” basis.
Ginkgo. Ginkgo seems to jump start libido and is often taken on an “as-needed basis.” This medication is bought without a prescription but isn’t FDA approved for this or any use.
Amantadine. Amantadine is a Parkinson’s medication noted for its tendency to increase sex-drive. It must be taken every day.
That’s a quick overview of medications that can help sex-drive. If you have any questions, definitely contact your prescribing doctor to get more information.