Charactarizing Post-SSRI sexual dysfunction and its impact on quality of life through an international online survey. 2021

Int J Risk Saf Med
2021 Aug 5. doi: 10.3233/JRS-210039.

Charactarizing Post-SSRI sexual dysfunction and its impact on quality of life through an international online survey

Alaina Studt 1, Margaret Gannon 1, Joanna Orzel 1, Ashley Vaughan 1, Amy M Pearlman 1

PMID: 34366299 DOI: 10.3233/JRS-210039


Background: Post-SSRI sexual dysfunction (PSSD) is an underrecognized and poorly understood medical condition characterized by sexual dysfunction that persists despite SSRI discontinuation.

Objective: We conducted a survey of individuals with PSSD to better characterize this condition and its impact on various quality of life concerns.

Methods: Surveys were distributed to an online support group for individuals with PSSD. Surveys assessed medications suspected of causing PSSD and symptoms experienced during and after treatment. Respondents reported the trajectory of their condition, the efficacy of different treatments, and the impact of PSSD on their quality of life.

Results: 239 survey responses were included in this study. A majority of respondents had a history of SSRI use (92%) compared to only SNRI or atypical antidepressant use (8%). The overall severity of symptoms improved for 45% and worsened or remained the same for 37% of respondents after discontinuing treatment with serotonin reuptake inhibitors. Only 12% of respondents reported being counseled regarding potential sexual dysfunction while taking antidepressants. The majority rated the effect of PSSD on their quality of life as extremely negative (59%) or very negative (23%).

Conclusion: PSSD can have an overwhelmingly negative impact on quality of life. Currently, it is unclear why certain individuals develop PSSD and there are no definitive treatments for this condition. Further research of PSSD and greater awareness of this condition is needed among prescribers of serotonin reuptake inhibitors to improve patient care. Abstract goes.

Keywords: Post-SSRI sexual dysfunction; adverse effects; drug side effects; selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors; sexual dysfunction.


It’s great to see PSSD getting more attention. Seems like the background working is starting to pay off.

Did this survey also assess non-sexual symptoms?

I think I filled in the survey, among others, but I don’t remember… let’s wait for the full text to find out.
Other results of another online survey are awaiting publication, of Professor Cosci (the full text is not yet available despite several months having passed) “Exposure to serotonin selective reuptake inhibitors or serotonin noradrenaline reuptake inhibitors and sexual dysfunction: Results from an online survey