• For 24/7 Treatment Help Call

    (800) 526-5053

  • Sexual Side Effects Of Celexa | Potential Problems & How To Cope

    Sexual Side Effects Of Celexa | Potential Problems & How To Cope

    Celexa (citalopram) is a prescription SSRI (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor) used to treat major depressive disorder. Some healthcare providers also prescribe it to treat anxiety, panic attacks, and other mental health disorders.

    A recent study found that depression increases your risk of sexual dysfunction by 50 to 70 percent. Sexual dysfunction raises the risk of depression by a staggering 130 to 200 percent

    Healthy sex life may help ward off depression, and treating depression may improve your sex life. Unfortunately, many antidepressant medications like Celexa can negatively affect your sex drive and ability to perform.

    Sexual Side Effects Of Celexa

    One of the most common sexual side effects of Celexa is lower sexual desire (libido). Loss of interest in sexual activity can affect both genders, but it may be more intense for women. Some women find they don’t want to have sex at all while taking the drug. 

    Though some side effects are the same between genders, Celexa can affect men and women differently.

    Celexa sexual side effects in men may include:

    • difficulty getting or maintaining an erection (erectile dysfunction)
    • delayed ejaculation
    • significantly lowered sperm count
    • sperm that can’t move quickly and efficiently to the egg (decreased sperm motility)
    • misshapen, less effective sperm (abnormal sperm morphology)

    Celexa sexual side effects in women may include:

    • decreased vaginal lubrication
    • physical discomfort during sex

    Both men and women may have trouble coming to orgasm, and some may not be able to orgasm at all while taking Celexa.

    Other side effects of Celexa may make you feel less self-confident or interested in the bedroom. Common side effects can include:

    • nausea
    • constipation or diarrhea
    • fatigue
    • muscle aches and joint pain
    • heavy menstrual periods

    If you’re not feeling your best, it can be a challenge to say yes to sex. If you do it anyway, it may be hard to achieve orgasm if you’re thinking about how nauseous you feel.

    How To Cope With Sexual Side Effects

    Sexual side effects can make Celexa less appealing, even if it eases symptoms of depression.

    But if you stop taking Celexa, it’s not guaranteed that the sexual issues you’re experiencing will improve. Decreased sexual desire is often a symptom of depression.

    It may help to discuss the issue with your partner since it affects both of you. Weigh the benefits against the side effects and explore your options together. 

    Here are a few things you can do to cope.

    Give It Time

    Side effects from SSRIs like Celexa often ease up after a few weeks. Your body needs time to adjust to the drug. As it starts working to decrease your depression or anxiety, you may see a decrease in side effects, as well.

    In the meantime, try having sex before taking your medication—when the lowest concentration of Celexa is in your body. 

    Treat The Symptoms

    You might try other medications to help you deal with the symptoms. Stool softeners such as Colace (docusate sodium) can ease constipation. Erectile dysfunction drugs like Viagra (sildenafil) may help with sexual function issues. 

    Be sure to discuss this option with your doctor. Some medications are dangerous to combine with Celexa or could make the drug less effective. 

    Try Natural Remedies

    Natural remedies may be helpful to decrease side effects. These aren’t guaranteed to work, but they’ve helped some people:

    • aphrodisiac foods—like pomegranate, which contains antioxidants to reduce inflammation and increase blood flow
    • personal lubricant for vaginal dryness
    • small, frequent meals to help with nausea
    • plenty of fluids and fiber to ease constipation
    • an afternoon nap or extra hour of nighttime sleep to fight fatigue
    • a warm bath followed by an ice pack for muscle aches

    You’re more likely to want to have sex and to enjoy it when you feel your best. Exercise, drinking water, and eating healthy can improve your physical and mental health. Taking care of yourself can even help with depression and anxiety.

    Try A Different Dose

    If sexual side effects don’t improve after four to six weeks of taking Celexa, your doctor can help you look into other options for improving your mental health. 

    They may adjust your dosage of Celexa. Sometimes lowering the dose can lead to fewer or weaker side effects.

    Try A Different Antidepressant

    If changing the dose doesn’t work or isn’t appropriate for your situation, your doctor may suggest a different type of drug. There are quite a few treatment options for depression—many that can be used for anxiety, too. 

    A few alternative types of antidepressants include:

    • different SSRIs, like sertraline (Zoloft), fluoxetine (Prozac), or paroxetine (Paxil)
    • tricyclic antidepressants
    • monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs)
    • mirtazapine (Remeron)
    • bupropion (Wellbutrin XL)

    Your doctor may also recommend therapy or a combination of treatments.

    Don’t Abuse It

    Sexual problems (or any other adverse effects) are more likely to occur when you abuse a drug. Drug abuse means taking it in higher doses, more often, or longer than prescribed. Use Celexa as your doctor recommends for the best outcome.

    If you or a loved one are struggling with Celexa abuse, we’re here for you. Contact us today to learn about our treatment programs for substance abuse and addiction.

    Written by Ark Behavioral Health Editorial Team
    ©2024 Ark National Holdings, LLC. | All Rights Reserved.
    This page does not provide medical advice.
    Medically Reviewed by
    Kimberly Langdon M.D.
    on June 24, 2022
    Questions About Treatment?

    Ark Behavioral Health offers 100% confidential substance abuse assessment and treatment placement tailored to your individual needs. Achieve long-term recovery.

    100% confidential. We respect your privacy.
    Prefer Texting?

    Our friendly support team is here to chat 24/7. Opt out any time.


    Our Facilities

    Premier Drug Rehab & Mental Health Care Facilities In Massachusetts & Ohio

    Bedrock Recovery

    Canton, MA

    • Medical detox
    • Inpatient & Residential Treatment
    • Primary Mental Health Care
    • Movie Theater & Fitness Center

    Learn More

    Northeast Addictions

    Quincy, MA

    • Day treatment program
    • Intensive Outpatient Program
    • Full-Day Group Therapy
    • Easy Access to Public Transit

    Learn More

    Spring Hill Recovery Center

    Ashby, MA

    • Residential Treatment
    • Gender-Specific Residencies
    • Outdoor Recreation
    • Expansive 70-Acre Campus

    Learn More

    Ohio Recovery Center

    Van Wert, OH

    • Medical Detox
    • Residential Treatment
    • Primary Mental Health Care
    • 55-Acre Campus

    Learn More

    For Immediate Treatment Help Call 800-526-5053