Does Effexor increase libido? 

Does Effexor increase libido? 

Effexor may or may not increase libido. This side effect is reported in some cases but is still considered a rare one. In fact, Effexor can sometimes cause loss of libido in some people as serotonin reuptake inhibitors are associated with this side effect. 

However, Effexor still has a lesser potential for either increasing or decreasing your libido. In cases where high libido was reported, it was observed that Effexor was not the only prescription medication as it was paired with Wellbutrin in some cases, and with Lithium in others. 

This indicates that Effexor may increase your libido more prominently when it is paired with other meds that can affect the chemicals in your brain. Make sure you properly monitor your side effects and report them to your healthcare provider. 

What does research suggest?

Several research studies have linked Effexor (Venlafaxine) to changes in libido. Some studies have indicated that Effexor can increase libido, while others have shown that Effexor can decrease libido. 

In a study comparing the effects of Agomelatine and Venlafaxine XR on sexual function in depressed patients, it was found that Agomelatine was associated with a lower prevalence of treatment-emergent sexual dysfunction compared to Venlafaxine XR. (1)

In another study comparing the sexual side effects of different antidepressants, Venlafaxine was found less commonly associated with sexual side effects compared to other antidepressants, especially selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). (2)

Other serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors, like Pristiq, are not that commonly associated with sexual side effects. However, the effects can still vary from person to person. 

In a study involving 101 patients, it was found that a significant number of participants (46.5%) experienced sexual dysfunction while taking different antidepressants, including venlafaxine. The prevalence of sexual dysfunction varied across the different drugs, with Venlafaxine at 54.5%. (3)

However, a few research studies have indicated that Effexor may cause an increase in libido in some rare cases. This is because the effects of Effexor can vary from person to person. 

While some individuals may experience a decrease in sexual desire while taking Effexor, others may not notice any significant changes or may even experience an improvement in libido. (4)

It’s important to remember that the impact of Effexor on libido is not the same for everyone, and individual responses may vary. Some people take Effexor in combination with other medications, such as other antidepressants (Prozac, Lexapro, etc) and antipsychotics (Abilify, Latuda, etc), etc.

Such combinations may have more pronounced effects on libido. If you have concerns about the effect of Effexor on your libido, it’s recommended to discuss them with your healthcare provider.

What to do if you’re experiencing an increase in libido while taking Effexor?

If you’re experiencing an increase in libido while taking Effexor (venlafaxine), it’s important to discuss this with your healthcare provider. 

Depending on your individual circumstances and medical history, your healthcare provider may adjust your medication dosage or explore other treatment options to help manage this side effect. 

It’s crucial to communicate openly with your healthcare provider to ensure they have a complete understanding of your experience, so they can provide you with the most suitable recommendations and support.

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Kennedy SH, Rizvi S, Fulton K, Rasmussen J. A double-blind comparison of sexual functioning, antidepressant efficacy, and tolerability between agomelatine and venlafaxine XR. J Clin Psychopharmacol. 2008 Jun;28(3):329-33. doi: 10.1097/JCP.0b013e318172b48c. PMID: 18480691.


Kennedy SH, Eisfeld BS, Dickens SE, Bacchiochi JR, Bagby RM. Antidepressant-induced sexual dysfunction during treatment with moclobemide, paroxetine, sertraline, and venlafaxine. J Clin Psychiatry. 2000 Apr;61(4):276-81. doi: 10.4088/jcp.v61n0406. PMID: 10830148.


Lee KU, Lee YM, Nam JM, Lee HK, Kweon YS, Lee CT, Jun TY. Antidepressant-Induced Sexual Dysfunction among Newer Antidepressants in a Naturalistic Setting. Psychiatry Investig. 2010 Mar;7(1):55-9. doi: 10.4306/pi.2010.7.1.55. Epub 2010 Feb 8. PMID: 20396434; PMCID: PMC2848770.


Michael A, Owen A. Venlafaxine-induced increased libido and spontaneous erections. Br J Psychiatry. 1997 Feb;170:193. doi: 10.1192/bjp.170.2.193c. PMID: 9093519.

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