RxISK Research on PSSD

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July 18, 2014 | 38 Comments


  1. Excellent news. This is a great opportunity for the PSSD community to find a scientific basis for the condition and possibly the first steps to finding a successful treatment.

    Is there specific contact method or email address through which PSSD patients can direct their questions or offer their participation?

  2. Great news. have already submitted my symptoms and personal profile via yellow card and on RXISK, I would very much like to be apart of the research.

  3. I’m praying for you find an answer, Dr. Healy. Ι am suicidal every day,every minute. PSSD , emotional blunting and anhedonia (very often relative) is HELL!
    I believe that genital anesthisia (the most characteristic and valid symptom of this terrifying condition) is the worst symptom by any other from all diseases.
    You are ours biggest hope.

    Damn SSRI…

    • Mir war lang nicht klar dass das pssd die emotionale taubheit beinhaltet. Ich halte das verwenden dieser drogen für ein verbrechen. Psychiater tun das als depressionen ab. Man könnte meinen entwickelt für den selbstmord. Dann haben die Tabletten halt nicht gewirkt. Monster drogen. Bevölkerungsreduzierung

    • Thanks to Dr. Healy. But
      Were is the money for research. Its a tragedy thats tragedy thats These drugs are promoted so much. AD im Television. Kickbacks for prescribing. Thats awful and corrupted. Destroying lives families

  4. Have there been any thoughts about testing Fenclonine (PCPA) in the treatment of PSSD? It depletes serotonin and has had a fair amount of research into its sexual effects, which include hypersexuality. It looks like it can cause (or at least exacerbate) migraine headaches, as well as depression, but it’s at least theoretically possible that it could cause a permanent reversal of the symptoms of PSSD (e.g. via resensitization of serotonin receptors in the brain).

    Looking around, there hasn’t been much in the way of testing this with patients suffering sexual dysfunction from SSRIs, probably because a lot of the existing research is on patients *currently* taking an SSRI, and Fenclonine would probably eliminate the antidepressant effects of the SSRI. However, for patients who’ve already terminated their SSRI (and are no longer depressed), that might not matter as much.

  5. As a victim of SSRI destruction, one thing I don’t understand is the amount of time these drugs take to have an effect. If I think of other brain affecting drugs, caffeine, nicotine, alcohol, LSD, cocaine, amphetamine, cannabis, or whatever, surely, they enter the bloodstream, cross the blood brain barrier, react with one’s own brain chemistry and bingo you have the effect; followed by one or a few days for your brain to self regulate back to normality. (Obviously long term use of such drugs can have a far more damaging effect). What the hell is going on with SSRIs? You take them, they enter the bloodstream, cross the blood brain barrier and then what? What is happening in all those weeks before the drug takes full effect? Surely the only thing that can be happening is some physiological change in the brain in reaction to the presence of the drug? Now if that is the case, can one expect such a change to reverse back to its pre-drug state once the drug is withdrawn??? Or would it be more reasonable to hypothesize that the brain has been permanently changed and that is why, once one has taken SSRIs, one is destroyed forever? Serotonin function burned out, unable to feel attraction, desire, lust, goal direction and ambition, or even love. Leave someone like that and they are pretty much permanently screwed in every aspect of life. Taking a drug and observing or experiencing its effects are one thing. Stopping a drug is another thing entirely and you never know what a drug has really done until you try living without it and compare how you are then to how you were before you ever took the the brain damaging, life wrecking, soul destroying poison in the first place.

  6. David Healy Rocks!!!!!! Thank you doctor Healy. Maybe I can contribute with my empirical and my self treatment that healed me.
    PS: I had the worst type of post ssri sexual dysfunction. I could not had even a single erection for almost 8 months and now after 3 years of this nightmare I’m doing very good!!!! I’m doing a lot of sex again. I want to help the others guys and girls.

  7. Hello Augusto, please specify in your testimony whether or not you had low testosterone and / or high prolactin, and if you’ve taken care of these hormonal imbalances to heal from PSSD. because would it be different for PSSD suffers that have no hormonal imbalances. sorry for this english.

    • I took a lot of things and I do not think that the testosterone was the problem, at least in my case. My theory is that it is a problem in the cyp (cytochrome P450), mainly in the cyp2d6 and cyp3a4 and some people will need to “fix the cyp” enzymes. One very good thing for it is desmodium(burbur), MSM and Zeolite.

  8. I have had PSSD since I stopped taking citalopram in July 2014. If I had read the Wikipedia article about citalopram prior to taking the drug, I would never have taken it!! I hate the doctor who prescribed me it. I have tried taking licorice root – I found posts online claiming this can eliminate PSSD, but I have yet to see any benefits. I also had a testosterone test, and it came back normal. I do not want to have PSSD for the rest of my life. Sometimes I feel suicidal, but I have to stay positive. I hope a cure will be found or that I will get back to normal through time. Any other ideas of potential benefits?

    • Some sixteen months off Effexor and I became aware I was no longer genitally numb. Prior to this I hadn’t really been aware that I was so numb . This is not to say I want to rush out and take a lover but that for the first time in years I feel so sweetly and gently alive from the waist down . And I am overjoyed that this may be a beacon of hope in what has been sixteen dismal months of protracted withdrawal . Thank God for this site where one is actually believed .

    • Meg
      The first step is to file a RxISK report. The ideal next step is to take it to your doctor and let us know how s/he responds – whether she listens or not. If she is open to the drug causing the problem having her work with you and us would be great. We will put you on our database and be in touch to let you know more soon.

  9. I have the PSSD. I stopped taking Cymbalta in December 2014, but i feel genital anesthisia and ejaculatory anedonia. I’m afraid that i will have PSSD for the rest of my life. I’m desperate.

    • Shame over mental care
      Better called mental shattering. Thanks to pur governement allowing this drugs without warning. Its disgusting. Emotional numbness is unknown.

  10. It seems to me that a lot of PSSD patients will end up taking the urologist route in their search for a cure. It would be useful if urologists were made aware of the PSSD issue. The urologist contact point would be a useful place for the collection of some data, i.e. the numbers complaining of a particular set of symptoms who have previous SSRI exposure. Urologists do seem to be starting to enter the “low testosterone market” and are therefore picking up more and more sexual dysfunction patients, where the cause is not just a simple case of ED. Unfortunately the expensive, private urologist I consulted didn’t even know what DHEA was, had never heard the expression “free androgen index” and spent more time focusing on my total testosterone result than my free testosterone result. If urologists are to capture this market, I think they need to brush up on their endocrinology first!

  11. PSSD is the most soul-destroying condition to have. I think I will have it for the rest of my life. I have no libido, and I am unable to have sex at all. I have had PSSD for over a year now. It was Citalopram which caused my PSSD.

    • Hey Scott
      Are you better now ? Did you try any solutions maybe things like licorice root , cyproheptadine , maybe going back on some SSRI ?
      Somethings gotta work. Just give yourself enough shots at curing yourself

    • Thanks for censoring.
      Shame so called free World. Ist für rirght to hell my opinion. My experience is my right to tell. Money greed ob er health. Gods own country.

  12. I have Post ssri sexual dysfunction for over 3 years after I stopped medications.
    I was on Zyprexa and Solbem for 3 years.
    I need help…

  13. PSSD is permanent. Simple as. It’s PPSSD and somehow I am supposed to live with that. Forever. Thanks Doc. There’s nothing you can do about it. I have tried everything and nothing. The feeling never returns. And looking back, those poisonous SSRIs did their damage, or at least started their damage, so very early on. Life gone, life taken, thanks Doc, I will never trust you on anything ever again.

    • Comments such as this are unhelpful and can be despairing to those who may need not despair. Reversald arr rerported. Also, in my experience different consequences ensue from different antidepressants.

      You simply do not know if it is permanant. Remember, there could be suicidal people reading your comment so try not to make blanket statements.

  14. 21 years old, suffering PSSD I stopped Paroxetine 2 years ago. I was on Paroxetine for 8 month. Think about suicide… no love no life. 🙁

  15. 39 years old male, nearly half a year on citalopram, currently 4 months off. Approximately 6 weeks after administration of drug sexual dysfunction appeared, absent libido, difficult erection, pleasurelss orgasm, numbness of genital, loss of sensuality, emotional dampening and numbness, anhedonia, no emotional respond to music, to visual stimulus, to nothing, lethargy, no dreams at night, loss of smell, general numbness – nothing really touches me, physical touch is felt neutral without any affective retinue, numbness of the scalp of head, after discontinuation of citalopram condition become even worse, all pervading feeling of emptiness, no vital impulses coming from body, feeling that the body doesn´t belong to me, felling I´m alliented from my partner, children, friends. Emotionless- no affection, no love, no attraction, no satisfaction, no calmness inside, numbness, deadness, inanimateness. Sensation I´m living in dimmness, without light. On sexual level complete anorgasmia, complete loss of erection, complete numbness of genital, corpora cavernosa are comletely empty even on the perineum. Unabilty to have sex, pleasure, even masturbation is not possible. Every day I try to cope with neutral awful emptiness and lack of vital impulses and satisfaction. It has secondary and detrimental consequances to my personal and work life, to family, to partnership, etc. I persudate myself every day no to take my life. Every day … every day through such ordeal of self dystopia. The pharma-industry should be made responsible as well as doctors unaware of side effects of medication they prescribe. Why they do not inform the patient? It is too hight price for just little anxiety, insomnia and depressed mood. That is the help I received – buried alive. I wish to have my old depression back. This post SSRI zombie state is comparing to my original depression thousand times worse – torture. I´m despair of recovery.

  16. Has anyone tried Wellbutrin after having PSSD?

    I was on Sertraline 50 MG for about a month, and have since struggled with fatigue, focus, interest, and sexual desire and feeling. I feel like I don’t produce endorphins with any kind of activity, and my mind is feels so slow.

    I have read some promising experiences here: https://www.drugs.com/comments/bupropion/for-sexual-dysfunction-ssri-induced.html

    Specifically from CubsGirl85 who wrote: “Was placed on Lexapro 10mg for GAD. Sex life pretty much went down the drain. I had the most ridiculous time trying to orgasm and had no desire (sigh). I am only 30. Discussed situation with my NP and she placed me on Wellbutrin (Bupropion) 75mg BID and now 200mg daily. It was a game changer. Sex life is DEFINITELY back on track. Easily orgasm and have heightened desire. I also have focusing issues and this has helped with increased energy and focus. 10/10 for sure.”

    I am afraid to give this a shot wondering if it will make my situation worse. A thought is that I will have a huge sex drive, but still have difficulty ejaculating. I’m also wondering if I can get away with taking Wellbutrin for a period of time simply to rebalance myself. Will I be normal after getting off of it?

    I would appreciate any experiences.

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