Effexor Sexual Side Effects

If a person develops sexual side effects while taking Effexor, it can be difficult to know whether these symptoms are caused by the medicine itself or depression, since such problems are commonly reported in people who have depression. Examples of sexual side effects that can occur with Effexor include ejaculation problems, impotence, and a decreased sex drive.

Does Effexor Cause Sexual Side Effects?

Effexor® (venlafaxine hydrochloride), like a lot of medicine used to treat depression, is known to cause certain sexual side effects. Effexor sexual side effects may include:
  • Ejaculation problems
  • Impotence (also known as erectile dysfunction or ED)
  • A decreased sex drive
  • Priapism (which is a painful erection of the penis that does not go away).

Ejaculation Problems

Effexor is known to cause ejaculatory problems, such as delayed ejaculation or an inability to ejaculate. In clinical studies documenting the side effects of Effexor, ejaculation problems occurred in up to 12.5 percent of men who took higher doses of Effexor. Ejaculation problems were less common with lower Effexor doses.


Effexor is known to cause impotence in men. Impotence is often defined as a total inability to achieve erection, an inconsistent ability to do so, or a tendency to sustain only brief erections. Ultimately, impotence is the repeated inability to get or keep an erection firm enough for sexual intercourse.
In clinical studies documenting the side effects of Effexor, impotence occurred in up to 6 percent of patients.

A Decreased Sex Drive

In previous studies, up to 5.7 percent of people taking higher doses of Effexor reported a decreased sex drive (libido). A decreased sex drive was less common in people taking lower Effexor doses.
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