Anxiety Home > Paxil Sexual Side Effects

In clinical trials of Paxil, sexual side effects included such things as impotence, ejaculation problems, and a decrease in sex drive, among others. However, it's not always clear whether the problems are caused by the medication; many of the conditions that Paxil is licensed to treat (such as depression) can also cause sexual problems. If you develop sexual side effects during treatment, be sure to talk to your healthcare provider.

Sexual Side Effects With Paxil: An Introduction

Paxil® (paroxetine hydrochloride), like all selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), is known to cause certain sexual side effects, such as:
  • Decreased sex drive or orgasm problems
  • Ejaculation problems
  • Impotence (also known as erectile dysfunction or ED)
  • Priapism, a painful erection that does not go away.
Sex Drive or Orgasm Problems
Paxil is known to cause a decrease in sex drive (known as libido). In clinical studies where side effects were documented, a decreased sex drive occurred in up to 15 percent of men taking Paxil. This sexual side effect was also seen in women; up to 9 percent of women in these studies reported a decrease in libido. Also, up to 9 percent of women taking Paxil reported problems achieving orgasm.
Ejaculation Problems
Paxil is also known to cause ejaculatory problems. Generally, these problems are usually delayed ejaculation or inability to ejaculate. In fact, the medication can be used to treat men that have problems ejaculating too early (see Paxil and Premature Ejaculation).
In clinical studies where side effects were documented, ejaculation problems occurred in up to 28 percent of men taking Paxil. The highest incidence occurred in those men with social anxiety, while those with depression or post-traumatic stress disorder experienced the lowest incidence of this Paxil sexual side effect (13 percent).
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Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
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