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Sexual Side Effects

Researching Sexual Side Effects of Prescription Medications

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Updated April 19, 2010

If you are looking for information about the sexual side effects of specific medication visit the profiles of sexual side effects of medications.

It wasn’t until fairly recently that anyone paid attention to the sexual side effects of medications. Even today, many pharmaceutical manufacturers and physicians, consider sexual side effects “less important” in the face of the benefit a particular drug may be providing.

The problem with this view is that the person who is taking a medication should be the one to judge how important or unimportant a sexual side effect is. If sexuality is an important part of your life, than you should know what you might be dealing with when starting a new medication.

Researching sexual side effects of medications can be a double edged sword. Because most medications will have less common, but very unusual side effects, researching online can be a bit scary. So on the one hand, it’s important to know what you’re getting into. On the other, you may hear horror stories about side effects that only impact a fraction of the people taking the medication.

In general it is true that no one person experiences every side effect of a drug. Often common side effects are experienced by about 20 percent of the people who take a medication, with varying degrees of severity. For some people side effects will go away after a period of time, while for others side effects will persist.

Because it is generally not in the interests of pharmaceutical companies to carefully and openly study all the possible side effects of a medication, and because they tend to only do the research necessary to get a drug approved, there are not many studies at all that investigate the side effects of taking medication in the long term, and even in some cases in the short term.

Since the advent and popularity of the anti-depressants known as SSRIs (which typically come with many sexual side effects) this topic has gained more attention, and more study.

Yet still much is unknown about the long term sexual side effects of most medications. Also, in general, there is much less known about the impact of medications on women’s sexuality than men’s.

Below are some suggestions for places to start researching the sexual side effects of medication. Remember that information available online will have varying degrees of accuracy. Always know the source of the information.

Where to Research Sexual Side Effects of Medications

RxList.com can be an easy place to start a search. Information provided is from the pharmaceutical companies, but there are many search options that make it easier to find medications that may be less common. They also have discussion boards for many medications that offer a wide range of opinion

This Yahoo SSRI discussion group focuses on sexual side effects and is very busy.

Crazymeds.com is a site written by people who take medication for people who take medication. They are very clear about the limits of the information they provide, and they are often my first stop for an alternative take on medications and side effects.

About Panic Disorders offers lots of good information about medications prescribed for panic disorders, many of which have sexual side effects.

About Depression offers lots of good information about medications prescribed for depression, many of which have sexual side effects.

National Council for Research on Women Misinformation Clearinghouse is not specific to sexual side effects of medication, but they are doing crucial work to bring information about women's health to light.

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