Skip to content

    Depression Health Center

    Font Size
    A
    A
    A

    Fears and Facts About Antidepressants

    continued...

    Fear: Antidepressants will destroy my sex life.

    Fact: Some antidepressants can have an effect on sex. The problem is usually in having an orgasm rather than a lack of desire. But because depression itself decreases libido, a medication that eases depression may improve your sex life. As with other side effects, certain antidepressants may be more likely than others to cause sexual problems.

    Fear: Antidepressants are expensive and aren’t covered by insurance.

    Fact: Antidepressants are usually covered by insurance plans with prescription drug coverage. The cost of antidepressants varies widely, depending on the dosage, the drug you are taking, and whether it is available as a generic. Even without insurance coverage, it is possible to purchase a generic antidepressant for as little as $15 per month.

    Fear: Taking an antidepressant is a sign of weakness.

    Fact: Like medical conditions such as diabetes or high cholesterol, major depression is a condition that often responds to medication. When depression interferes with your ability to function normally, seeking treatment is not a sign of weakness. It’s a sign of good self-care.

    Fear: Antidepressants increase the risk of suicide.

    Fact: Studies in recent years have raised concerns that antidepressants may raise the risk of suicidal thoughts or behaviors (but not deaths) among children, adolescents, and young adults. For example, a 2009 review in the British Medical Journal (BMJ) looked at 372 studies involving nearly 100,000 people who were taking antidepressants. It found that compared to placebo, antidepressants were associated with a slightly higher risk for suicidal thoughts in some children and young adults, have no effect on suicide risk among those 25 to 64, and reduce the risk in those 65 and older.

    In 2004, the FDA required manufacturers of antidepressants to revise their labels to include a boxed warning statement about these risks.

    Other studies paint a different picture. A 2006 study published in PLoS Medicine suggests that antidepressants have saved thousands of lives. Data show that the U.S. suicide rate held fairly steady for 15 years before the popular antidepressant fluoxetine (Prozac) was sold and then dropped steadily over 14 years while sales of Prozac rose. The strongest effect was among women.

    The bottom line: Regardless of your age or sex, it’s important to see a doctor immediately if you have suicidal thoughts or other significant symptoms of  clinical depression.

    WebMD Medical Reference

    Reviewed by Joseph Goldberg, MD on June 04, 2015
    1 | 2

    Today on WebMD

    contemplation
    Differences between feeling depressed and feeling blue.
    jk rowling
    Famous people who've struggled with persistent sadness.
     
    depressed man sitting on hallway floor
    Learn the truth about this serious illness.
    Sad woman looking out of the window
    Tips to stay the treatment course.
     
    unhappy teen boy
    Health Check
    jk rowling
    Slideshow
     
    Pills with smiley faces
    Article
    Teen girl huddled outside house
    Article
     
    Depressed man sitting in hospital hallway
    Article
    antidepressants slideshow
    Article
     
    pill bottle
    Article
    Winding path
    Article