Antidepressants can be libido and orgasm killers. I wrote at length about my struggles with depression and my seemingly endless rides on the med-go-round but to recap: Over the 20 years that I’ve lived with depression, I tried all the SSRIs and SNRIs that were available then. They all caused anorgasmia and only one of them worked for my depression and that was Effexor. So, I lived with being orgasm-less for many, many years. But I didn’t care very much because my libido was also in the shitter. Whether the low libido was caused by the meds or something else, I’m not sure. One thing I do know, is that once I got fed up with having no orgasms and went on a quest for solutions… wonderful things started happening.
First, I had to get my libido back. I was already taking Wellbutrin, which is often prescribed along side an SSRI to combat the sexual side effects. It doesn’t always work and it wasn’t working for me. I was on 350mg which is the maximum recommended dose in most of the literature but doctors have found that the dose can go as high as 450mg. So, that’s what we did and for once in a very long time, I actually felt like having sex. All of a sudden I’d gone from never wanting it and only going through the motions to wanting to hump my husband every single day. Needless to say, he was very happy. He’s a patient man but I know my lack of a sex drive was hard for him to deal with. I’m a lucky girl to have a guy that has stuck by me through all of this.
Around this same time, I had discovered sex toys. With my newly rekindled sex drive and the procurement of some clit vibes, I was having orgasms again but it was still very difficult and frustrating. Sometimes, it was still impossible. But I wasn’t complaining, I was happy to be having orgasms at all. Then, I wanted more.
I started searching the internet to see if there was any new information since the last time I searched so many years ago. I stumbled onto one obscure article in a medical journal that listed several drugs that could possibly reverse the anorgasmia caused by antidepressants. This excited me and I went to my shrink, asking if there was anything we could try. I didn’t mention anything about the article. So, her first idea was to give me Viagra. I kind of had my doubts but I went along with it. It didn’t work, was way too fucking expensive and my insurance didn’t cover it.
The next time I saw her, I mentioned the article and one of the drugs that was said to reverse the anorgasmia. There are no official studies that show it works but I was willing to give it a try. Plus I thought it would mesh well with my current cocktail1 of pysch meds. That drug was Buspar (buspirone). It’s an anti-anxiety med (or, anxiolytic) but nothing like Xanax or the other benzodiazepines . You don’t become dependent on Buspar like you can on those drugs. My shrink didn’t have any problem with letting me try it so she prescribed 30mg per day. It comes in 15mg pills so I decided I’d just start there and go up to 30mg if needed.
I started taking the Buspar every morning and something miraculous began to happen. When I used my vibrators, I was easily having amazing powerful orgasms but still struggled every now and then. I decided to start taking the full dose of 30mg and it’s like my whole world changed. I was having orgasms with my vibrators almost every time I masturbated. I was even sometimes having multiples, which never happened to me before. I was beyond ecstatic. My orgasms had returned and were seemingly better than ever. Unfortunately, I still can’t have orgasms from oral sex. I guess I really do need the powerful stimulation of a vibrator, which a mere mortal just can’t provide. But who the fuck cares? I was getting off again, and again and again. It’s ultimately what sparked my interest in sex toys and motivated me to start this blog.
From my experience, Buspar seems to have a sweet spot and that probably varies from person to person just like so many other things. I got greedy and I thought – if I’m having orgasms this good now, maybe I can have even better ones if I increase the dose. I might even be able to orgasm from oral sex again. The maximum dose of Buspar is 60mg so, I asked my shrink if I could increase to that. She was fine with it so I did and something unexpected happened. I was suddenly having difficulty reaching orgasm again. That didn’t make any damn sense but I do know that many psych meds work in different ways at different doses. Some work on one neurotransmitter at lower doses and start to tweak another one as you increase the dose. So maybe something similar was happening with the Buspar. All I know is that 30mg seems to be the sweet spot for me. So, I lowered the dose back down and I’ve been having amazing orgasms ever since.
Since Buspar is an anti-anxiety med, your insurance is more likely to cover it than some other drugs. Your shrink will be prescribing it off label for your anorgasmia but your insurance will just think you have anxiety along with your depression. They likely wouldn’t cover it if they knew what it was really being used for. And if you just so happen to have some anxiety along with your depression, you might get a twofer out of it – more orgasms and less anxiety. Who doesn’t want that? If you ask your doctor about it and they don’t know what the fuck you’re talking about, as I suspect many won’t, maybe print out that article and take it to them.
I’m not a medical professional. Just a gal with 20 years of experience with psychotropic meds and their side effects. So I know a little bit about them. Probably just enough to make me dangerous. But I hope that by writing this I can help someone else get their orgasms back. I can’t promise it will work for you but if you try it and it does (or, even if it doesn’t), please come back here and tell me about it.
- Pristiq (It is basically a “new and improved” version of Effexor), Wellbutrin, Risperdal, Adderall, Buspar and occasionally Klonopin ↩
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