Your donations are needed to fund scientific research into post-SSRI sexual dysfunction (PSSD) and other enduring sexual dysfunctions. The aim is to better understand the biology of these conditions and hopefully find treatments.
£32,995 raised of £50,000 goal
Post-SSRI sexual dysfunction (PSSD) is a condition in which sexual side effects don’t resolve after stopping certain types of antidepressants (inc. SSRIs, SNRIs and some tricyclics). In some cases, the sexual side effects only emerge upon stopping the antidepressant.
The condition affects men and women of all ages and causes genital numbness, pleasureless orgasm, loss of sex drive, impotence and other difficulties. It can start after only a few days of taking an antidepressant and in some cases persists for decades. There is currently no treatment.
It can lead to relationship and family breakup, job loss, and suicide.
There are other related conditions:
- Persistent genital arousal disorder (PGAD) which can be triggered by stopping SSRIs.
- Post-finasteride syndrome (PFS) caused by finasteride, a medication used to reverse hair loss in young men.
- Post-retinoid sexual dysfunction (PRSD) caused by isotretinoin, a medication used in the treatment of acne.
The research fund was launched on 21 June 2022 with the aim of facilitating scientific research into PSSD and other enduring sexual dysfunctions. Donations are made to Centre for Data Based Medicine, a registered charity in England and Wales.
All major cards are accepted, or you can pay using a PayPal account.
The total is updated manually by our team, so don’t worry if your donation doesn’t appear immediately.
If you have any difficulty donating, please contact us.
Updated 19 May 2023
This is a brief update to confirm that Professor Guerrini’s research is still ongoing. More experiments are being done to tease out the detail, and we will provide more information in due course. As previously mentioned, we started writing up the preliminary results for publication, but we’d rather wait to get a better understanding of why these medications are causing these changes, so we can produce a more comprehensive and impactful paper.
On a separate note, we are still looking for volunteers with PSSD from the UK, Australia and Germany to get involved in a project involving corneal confocal microscopy (CCM). This is an important opportunity that will hopefully further our understanding of PSSD, and we need people to come forward and take part. More details are here.
Updated 5 January 2023
The PSSD Research Fund is supporting the work of Prof. Luisa Guerrini at the University of Milan.
Prof. Guerrini has a background in research on regulatory proteins and has discovered that SSRIs produce changes in ACE2 receptors and p63. Similar results have been seen with isotretinoin and finasteride, both of which have been reported to cause similar conditions to PSSD.
p63 is the gateway to the neuro-epithelium that forms skin and nerves, and ACE2 is known to be linked to sexual dysfunction. This would fit with recent indications that at least some people with enduring sexual dysfunctions have a peripheral neuropathy.
A further discovery was that the cells in her assay system exposed to these drugs stopped dividing. Further work is needed to understand why this happened and whether SSRIs, finasteride, and isotretinoin all behave the same way or whether there are points at which they diverge.
The funding that Prof. Guerrini has been given at present is for a postdoctoral researcher for a year. When the work began, we had no idea that it might develop as well as it has. The findings are being written up and these will hopefully generate wider interest and the involvement of others.
We welcome all contributions to help support Dr. Guerrini’s work which involves having to order specialized antibodies to help understand why the cells stopped dividing. Money is also needed to pay for open access so that the papers can be made freely available to everyone including those affected with these conditions, as well as doctors, scientists, regulators and the media.
- £13,925.15 to Professor Luisa Guerrini on 26 July 2022.
- Transaction fee of £5 on 27 July 2022.