Seroquel (quetiapine fumarate) is an anti-psychotic medicine used to treat schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Although the medicine does not cure the diseases, it helps control their symptoms. The medicine is available in tablet form and lessens the effect of certain chemicals in the brain. As with many medications, side effects always exist. One hidden side effect of Seroquel is sexual dysfunction (it is technically not a side effect, but some do experience it). Sexual dysfunction affects people in various ways.
Thirty to 50 percent of participants in trial studies experienced sexual dysfunction. Sexual dysfunction includes a variety of problems, most notably lack of orgasm and impotence. The sexual dysfunction is caused by a combination of an cholinergic effects, adrenergic receptor blockade and hormonal effects.
Like many other anti-psychotic drugs, Seroquel can delay and lessen the quality of orgasms. About 30 to 40 percent of those tested experienced a delay in orgasm. It is important to keep in mind that orgasms can also be affected by anxiety, stress and other emotional problems.
Few men tested while taking the drug have experienced erectile dysfunction while using Seroquel. Only 10 percent of the men experienced impotence.
Seroquel effects everyone differently, and at times users have experienced an increase or decrease in their sex drive (Iibido). Twenty percent percent of the studied cases encountered an increase in their libido.
Ways to Avoid Sexual Frustration
Wait to see if it really is a problem. There are one-off instances in which emotional problems may get in the way of erections, so make sure what you are experiencing is an actual problem.
Try to schedule sex on days you know are more advantageous than others, or schedule your medicine intake around your sex life.
Switch to another medication. Other antipsychotic meds do not pose as high a risk of sexual dysfunction.
Regardless of what decisions you make, contact your physician if you are experiencing any problems. Although sexual dysfunction is not a listed side effect of Seroquel, it should be documented and/or treated.
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