Citalopram and Viagra (A brief guide)

Citalopram and Viagra

In this comprehensive guide about “Citalopram and Viagra”, we will discuss the sexual side effects of Citalopram and see the part that Viagra can play in solving those side effects, what Citalopram is, what’s meant to do, specifications related to how to take it, dosage, additional side effects, and other treatment options. 

Citalopram: sexual side effects of antidepressant medication

Citalopram is a drug that belongs to the family of Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors, which are normally prescribed to treat depressive symptoms.

This type of medication can have side effects related to your sex life. This includes losing interest in sex, can make it difficult for you to become sexually aroused and sustain arousal, and even, prevent you from having an orgasm.

Don’t feel discouraged or frustrated, you are not the only one! this even tends to happen to 30% to 70% of the people taking SSRIs. It is necessary to stay calm and get informed, the distress of these types of problems will cause even more stress and it won’t help you in your search for a solution. 

Citalopram and Viagra (A brief guide)

Desperate or frustrated? things to consider…

The struggle is real, I get it. Your sex life is not the same as it used to be and you may be wondering if the medication is actually beneficial for you. Let’s take a look at some useful tips or tricks that can help you:

  • Take a deep breath and try to wait it out, it might take a while for you to see the real benefits and the problems related to your sex life could go away if you have some patience. You have just started to take the medication and your body is still adjusting!
  • After consulting with your doctor, they might even suggest lowering the dose to see if this can help to reduce the sexual side effects.
  • Everybody is different so reactions to medications can vary from one person to the other. If your doctor is considering switching medications then, inform yourself about other possible side effects from the new medication since you might be trading one side effect for another. 
  • Adding another medication that can treat and improve sexual dysfunction like for example Viagra, Cialis or Levitra.

Do I have other options?

Yes, you do! It is important to seek medical advice regarding the issues you are experiencing with the medication and how it is impacting your sex life negatively. 

By consulting with your doctor, he or she may be able to suggest a different approach to the situation, they can even consider changing your medication for another one with fewer side effects related to sexual functioning (such has been the case of bupropion, duloxetine or mirtazapine, according to some studies). 

Also, they might even suggest a different therapeutic approach like psychotherapy. It is easy to blame medication for sexual dysfunction but you might want to explore with the help of a sex therapist if there is something else related to this sexual dysfunction that in the end is causing such a negative impact in your life.

Citalopram and Viagra (A brief guide)

What is Citalopram exactly?

Citalopram is a type of antidepressant (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor or SSRI), as we discussed previously, often used to treat depression and also sometimes it is prescribed to treat panic attacks. 

Research has suggested its effectiveness in helping people recover from depression and has been shown fewer side effects compared to other antidepressants. However, it is only available on prescription, in the form of tablets or liquid drops for faster intake.

It usually takes between 4 to 6 weeks for Citalopram to start working and as with any other drug, it poses the risk of experiencing side effects. Some of the common side effects include but are not limited to tiredness, dry mouth, and sweating excessively.

How and when to take it?

You need to take it once a day (at any time of the day but it is recommended to take it in the morning if you have trouble sleeping) and it won’t make a difference if you take it with or without having food.

How much do I have to take?

Citalopram tablets come in different doses ranging from 10mg to 40mg and the usual recommended dose for adults is 20mg a day (max dose of 40mg a day). In children, the usual dose is 10mg a day, but it may get increased to 40mg a day as in it is the case for adults. 

If you take too much by accident or get to experience symptoms such as the following, contact your doctor straight away:

  • Being sick (vomiting)
  • Shaking
  • Feeling sleepy
  • Fast heart rate
  • Seizures

Be aware that your body needs to gradually get used to the medicine, as soon as this happens, some of the side effects might disappear. However, if they are persistent in time or get worse, you need to seek medical assistance. 

Some of the serious effects are listed as follows:

  • Chest pain or pressure or shortness of breath
  • Severe dizziness or passing out
  • Painful erections that last longer than 4 hours – this may happen even when you’re not having sex
  • Any bleeding that’s very bad or you can’t stop, such as cuts or nosebleeds that won’t stop within 10 minutes

How Does Viagra fit into the picture?

A study published in The Journal of the American Medical Association (Jan. 1 issue) has reported that more than half of the men that participated in their study, said they had a significant improvement in their sexual function when combining their depression treatment with Viagra.

In this study, they divided the participants into two groups. The first group had to take Viagra for 6 weeks and the second group a placebo for the same amount of time. 

They found that 54.5% of the men from the first group reported a much higher overall score in relation to their sexual functioning when compared to the 4% from the Placebo group.

So…Is Viagra a miracle drug?

No, Viagra is no miracle drug, it actually comes with some side effects as any other medication. Some of them are headaches, flushing, upset stomach, stuffy or runny nose, nausea, muscle pain, among many others.

Additionally, it might seem like a miracle drug, some men might say. They can still have an intact sexual drive even if they experience erectile dysfunction (sustaining or maintaining an erection) but, what about a more complex problem in women such as reduced libido. 

Well, in women, arousal might seem to be the main cause of reduced libido or loss of sexual interest. Just as it is the case of men, there are treatments often referred to as “female Viagra” but they are not like Viagra at all. But how do they work?

Citalopram and Viagra (A brief guide)

Female Viagra: How it works

There are currently two drugs approved for Hypoactive sexual desire disorder (HSDD) in women. One of them is Flibanserin (Addyi) and the other one is Bremelanotide (Vyleesi).

But, How are they supposed to work?. Well, they basically bost the activity of neurotransmitters (chemical messengers in your brain) which in the end will help to keep you aroused. 

In the case of Flibanserin, it is recommended to still take it every day, even if you are not planning to have sex. On the contrary, you only inject Bremelanotide when needed.

Frequently asked questions (FAQ’s)

Can you take antidepressants with Viagra?

You can take antidepressants with Viagra to help alleviate the side effects of induced SSRIs erectile dysfunction in the case of men. However, women may benefit from other drugs like Flibanserin or Bremelanotide.

Does citalopram cause erectile dysfunction?

Citalopram has been associated with men erectile dysfunction, a common side effect of SSRIs drug intake. Some of the common side effects in men include difficulty in getting an erection or a delayed or blocked ability to reach an orgasm. Some drugs, as it is the case of Clexa, can cause reduced sperm count. 

Which drugs interact with Viagra?

Some of the drugs that can interact with Viagra are alpha-blockers such as Uroxatral (alfuzosin), Cardura (doxazosin) or Minipress (prazosin),  amlodipine and certain antifungals like ketoconazole or itraconazole. 

Can I take DilTIAZem with Viagra?

DilTIAZem may increase the blood levels and effects of  Viagra. You may need to be monitored frequently by your doctor or get a dose adjustment to be able to safely use both medications if needed.

Does Lexapro affect you sexually?

Lexapro can have sexual side effects by possibly causing erectile dysfunction or problems reaching an orgasm, among others. Studies about SSRIs or selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors have alarmingly high rates of people reporting sexual dysfunction when taking SSRIs.

Why is this blog post about citalopram and viagra important?

This Blog post about “Citalopram and Viagra” is important because you might be feeling frustrated, hopeless it gives you the possibility of understanding more in-depth why you might be experiencing sexual side effects from taking the antidepressant Citalopram to treat your depression, when to seek medical advice and if there are other options out there for you to consider. 

Recommended reading

  1. A Parent’s Guide to Depression and Anxiety (Axis Parent’s Guide)
  2. Citalopram Hydrobromide; A Clear and Concise Reference
  3. Citalopram 598 Questions to Ask that Matter to You
  4. Viagra
  5. Natural “Viagra”: Cure Erectile Dysfunction Without Prescription Drugs

References

Harvard Medical School: When an SSRI medication impacts your sex life

Harvard Medical School: Dealing with sexual side effects of antidepressants

WebMD: Viagra Eases Depression-Related ED

Citalopram and Viagra (A brief guide)

Juanita Agboola

Juanita Agboola is the editor in chief of HFNE and an expert in mental health online. She has been writing about online behaviour, mental health and psychology issues since 2012. All Guides are reviewed by our editorial team which constitutes various clinical psychologists, PhD and PsyD colleagues.

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