Anxiety Home > Effexor XR and Impotence

There are a number of sexual side effects that may develop with the use of Effexor XR, and impotence is among the most common. Impotence -- or the repeated inability to get or keep an erection firm enough for sexual intercourse -- occurs in up to 10 percent of men who take Effexor XR. In clinical studies, impotence was most common in those who were taking the antidepressant for social anxiety disorder and least common in those who were taking it for depression.

Effexor XR and Impotence: An Overview

Effexor XR® (venlafaxine XR) is known to cause several sexual side effects, with impotence being one of the most common. Impotence occurs in up to 10 percent of men who take Effexor XR. In previous studies, impotence was most commonly seen in men taking Effexor XR for social anxiety disorder (social phobia) -- 10 percent -- and least commonly seen in men who took Effexor XR for depression -- 4 percent.

What Is Impotence?

Impotence is usually 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. Impotence is also known as erectile dysfunction, or ED for short.

Effexor XR and Impotence: A Summary

It is impossible for your healthcare provider to know whether you will develop impotence while taking Effexor XR. Also, if impotence does occur during treatment with Effexor XR, it can be difficult to know whether the impotence is caused by the medication or by depression, since sexual side effects are very common in people with depression.
If you are taking Effexor XR and impotence becomes a problem, make sure to talk with your healthcare provider. There is treatment that he or she may be able to recommend. Depending on how severe your symptoms are, he or she may also recommend taking an erectile dysfunction medication, adjusting your Effexor XR dosage, or trying another medicine for your symptoms.
(Click Sexual Side Effects From Effexor XR for information on other possible sexual side effects with Effexor XR.)
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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