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10 Aphrodisiac Myths

        Health | Sexuality

4
Trazodone
Treating depression with meds often leads to sexual dysfunction, but Trazadone is less likely than other antidepressants to have that effect.  © Mike Powell/Digital Vision/Thinkstock
Treating depression with meds often leads to sexual dysfunction, but Trazadone is less likely than other antidepressants to have that effect. © Mike Powell/Digital Vision/Thinkstock

Trazodone (marketed as Desyrel or Oleptro) is a rare antidepressant — rare in that it is far less likely to cause sexual dysfunction compared to other, more popular antidepressants. Sertraline (marketed as one of the most common antidepressants, Zoloft), for example, reportedly decreases the libido of 6 percent of those who take it, and as many as 14 percent of men report sertraline-related ejaculation problems [source: Stöppler].

So if it doesn't cause as many sexual side effects as other types of antidepressants, will trazodone do the opposite and increase your libido? So people hoped back in the'80s when a (very) small number of men and women reported that it gave them a boost in that department. In each of the findings, just three men and three women reported an increase in their libido while taking the drug to treat their depression. More often, though, and yet still rare, men were more likely to report priapism, a painful and persistent erection that may last as long as six hours [source: Gartrell, Sullivan].

There may be something on the horizon for trazodone and its potential to treat hypoactive sexual desire disorder (HSDD), though. Combined with another antidepressant that has a low risk of sexual dysfunction, bupropion (marketed as Wellbutrin), it may turn out to be a viable treatment to increase sexual desire. In 2014, experimental drugs containing those two antidepressants — Orexa as a possible treatment for men with HSDD and Lorexys for women with HSDD — were undergoing in clinical trials [sources: S1 Biopharma, S1 Biopharma].


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