Sexual Side Effects From Effexor XR
If you develop sexual side effects from Effexor XR, be sure to let your healthcare provider know. A few of the sexual problems that can occur in some people taking this medicine include ejaculation problems, a decreased sex drive, and impotence. Depending on how severe the sexual side effects are, your healthcare provider may suggest that you adjust your Effexor XR dosage or try another depression or anxiety medicine.
Effexor XR® (venlafaxine XR), like a lot of medicines used to treat depression and anxiety disorders, is known to cause certain sexual side effects. Effexor XR sexual side effects may include:
- Ejaculation problems
- Impotence (also known as erectile dysfunction or ED)
- A decreased sex drive
- Orgasm problems
- Priapism (a painful erection of the penis that does not go away).
Effexor XR is known to cause ejaculatory problems in men. In previous clinical studies that documented the side effects of Effexor XR, these problems most often included delayed ejaculation or complete inability to ejaculate. In these studies, up to 16 percent of men who took Effexor XR experienced ejaculation problems.
Effexor XR is known to cause impotence in men. Impotence is often defined as a total inability to achieve erection, an inconsistent ability to do so, or a tendency to sustain only brief erections. Ultimately, impotence is the repeated inability to get or keep an erection firm enough for sexual intercourse.
In clinical studies that documented the side effects of Effexor XR, impotence occurred in up to 10 percent of men taking the drug.
(Click Effexor XR and Impotence for more information.)
Decreased Sex DriveEffexor XR is known to cause a decrease in sex drive (known as libido) in some people. In previous clinical studies that documented the side effects of Effexor XR, a decreased sex drive occurred in up to 9 percent of patients. A decreased sex drive with Effexor XR was most common in people with social anxiety disorder (9 percent) and least common in people taking Effexor XR for depression (3 percent).
Orgasm ProblemsEffexor XR is known to cause orgasm problems in women. In previous clinical studies that documented the side effects of Effexor XR, these problems most often included delays in orgasm or a complete inability to orgasm. Up to 8 percent of women taking Effexor XR experienced orgasm problems. These problems were most commonly seen in women who were taking the medication for social anxiety disorder (8 percent) and least commonly seen in those taking Effexor XR for generalized anxiety disorder (2 percent).
Priapism is a very rare side effect of medications such as Effexor. Priapism is a painful erection of the penis that does not go away, even after sexual intercourse or masturbation. If left untreated, priapism can lead to permanent damage to the penis. For this reason, it is very important to seek medical attention immediately if you think you are having symptoms of priapism. Even though this may seem embarrassing, it is necessary to avoid permanent damage to the penis. If your healthcare provider is not available, you should seek emergency medical care.