Prolonged use of antidepressants causes sexual dysfunction among Kashmir women: New Study

Srinagar, Oct 18:  Sixty one percent of female patients receiving antidepressant medications suffer from sexual dysfunction in the restive valley, a new study has revealed.

Entitled ‘Sexual Dysfunction in married female patients on Antidepressants in Kashmir Valley’, the 2018 study conducted by Postgraduate Department of Psychiatry, Government Medical College Srinagar has revealed startling facts about the ill-effects of antidepressants on female sexual health.


Authored by Senior Resident, Department of Psychiatry, Government Medical College, Srinagar, Dr Rehana Amin along with Zaid Ahmad Wani, Muhammad Maqbool Dar, Mohammad Altaf Paul, Waris Zargar and Seema Batool, the research was aimed to study the characteristics of sexual dysfunction in female patients taking antidepressants.

The research was conducted on 100 married females. Sixty five percent of women interviewed were sexually active and 35 percent were inactive.

“Around 61% of those interviewed felt a change in sexual activity after taking antidepressants. Just 12% reported their problem spontaneously. Problems of sexual dysfunction included decreased sexual desire (62%), orgasmic delay (34%) and difficult vaginal lubrication (20%),” the study revealed.

According to the study, 75% of 20 patients, who were on TCA’s (Tri-cyclic Antidepressants), reported decrease in sexual desire.  Similarly, 80.30% of 66 patients, who were on SSRI’s (Selective Serotonin Reuptake inhibitors), reported the orgasmic delay.

 “Due to increasing occurrence of psychiatric disorders like depression, obsessive compulsive disorder, somatoform disorder, anxiety disorders, etc, clinicians prescribe diverse number of antidepressants for the treatment. But the regular use of antidepressants is restricted by their side effects, one of which is sexual dysfunction. This problem affects the patient’s quality of life and can lead to therapeutic noncompliance in long-term treatment,” the study said.

The research suggested that several factors influence woman’s perception of sexual life, including race, gender, ethnicity, educational background, socioeconomic status and sexual orientation.

 “Majority of people don’t report it because of cultural factors. Therefore, there is a need for asking about the sexual clinical history before and after antidepressants are given so that treatment can be initiated for better quality of life,” the study said.

The study stressed that antidepressants need not to be continued for pretty long time. “It is better to use drugs with less severe side effects to improve patients’ sexual life,” the study said.

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About the Author

When the world fails to make sense, Hirra Azmat seeks solace in words. Both worlds, literary and the physical lend color to her journalism.

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