Sexual side effects are more common than not in the world of psychiatric medication. Stronger long-term medications like antipsychotics and antidepressants have the ability to carry serious sexual side effects that can greatly reduce satisfaction, drive and even ability to perform and achieve orgasm. Abilify, or aripiprazole, despite its new appearance on the psychiatric drug scene, is no exception to this old rule. Abilify can cause decrease in libido, loss of sexual interest, priapism, impotence and ability to achieve orgasm.
Abilify and Libido
Abilify has been found to cause changes in libido. According to aMedTV.com, 1 in every 100 people experienced a decrease in libido. The ability to increase libido is rare in Abilify. Organized Wisdom.com cites that only 1 in every 1,000 people experiences an increase in libido. Clearly, decrease in libido and desire has a larger occurrence during the ingestion of Abilify. Loss of desire and libido can lead to significantly decreased sexual encounters and possible severe impairment of pleasure during encounters that do occur.
Abilify and Priapism
Priapism is a rare side effect according to eMedTV, which only affects 1 in 1,000 men. Priapism has the ability of being an embarrassing condition, causing men not to seek treatment. However, priapism, if gone untreated, can lead to permanent damage of the penis. Priapism is defined as a painful erection that does not subside, even after sexual intercourse or masturbation. Symptoms of priapism must be treated as soon as possible to minimize the risk of permanent damage and possibly resulting in sexual dysfunction.
Abilify and Impotence
Impotence including erectile dysfunction, or E.D., is also a possible repercussion of Abilify. E.D. is a condition where a male is unable to achieve or maintain an erection, making sexual intercourse limited or, in some cases, impossible. Impotence may also apply to lack of sexual desire and problems associated with orgasm or ejaculation including premature ejaculation. An eMedTV article estimates that between 15 million and 30 million American men are afflicted by erectile dysfunction. Erectile dysfunction is undoubtedly a serious sexual problem, severely limiting intercourse and satisfaction.
Abilify and Orgasm
The total accumulation of sexual side effects caused by Abilify can accumulate in total or severe loss of sexual contact, impaired sexual encounters and a severe curb in sexual behavior. This can ultimately escalate to orgasmic dysfunction and the inability to achieve a lasting orgasm or experience an orgasm at all. Loss of orgasm can occur in both sexes with Abilify due to accumulative effects and can be devastating in a relationship to both partners. If severe enough, one or both partners may request removal from psychiatric drugs such as Abilify to regain sexual function and satisfaction.
Removal from an antipsychotic can lead to regained sexual ability, drive and performance. However, removal from an antipsychotic such as Abilify without professional intervention could mean aggravated psychosis and exaggerated psychiatric effects due to improper withdrawal. Patients should evaluate their life situation and decide which option is better for them. In some cases drugs like Viagra which boost sexual drive and ability may be found to be helpful if one is unable to stop treatment with Abilify. It will be necessary for the patient to review all options before coming to an ultimate decision.