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Antidepressant drugs reduced sperm count to near zero

Catherine McDiarmid-Watt | Saturday, August 10, 2013 | 0 comments

Image: Antidepressant drugs reduced sperm count to near zero
Antidepressant drug use could severely lower men's sperm counts, according to a case report presented at yesterday's American Society for Reproductive Medicine conference in New Orleans.

Dr. Peter Schlegel of the Cornell Medical Center in New York, along with a colleague, recently treated two men for infertility and found when both patients stopped taking their prescription antidepressant medications -- selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) -- their sperm counts dramatically increased. Schlegel then observed that when both men re-started their antidepressants, their fertility problems returned.

One patient was taking citalopram -- sold as Cipramil -- and the other was on sertraline, sold as Lustral. The second patient switched to venlafaxtine -- Effexor -- and again his sperm count dropped to near zero. Schlegel believes that because SSRI drugs affect both sperm count and the ability of sperm to move, the antidepressants may be preventing sperm from reaching the semen.

"The patients had normal sperm counts and motility before medication," Schlegel said.

"On the medication they have deterioration of both. The same patients going on and off medication had the same pattern. It shows a strong association."

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration required most SSRI drugs to carry the agency's strongest "black box" warning in 2004 for their association with increased risk of suicide. Other common side effects of the drugs include impotence and delayed ejaculation.

Allan Pacey, senior lecturer in andrology at the University of Sheffield, said, "There does seem to be a major correlation. Maybe this is an unknown side effect of these drugs that is only just coming to light."

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You Can Get Pregnant in Your 40's - Sharing articles, discussing options and suggestions
Stories of Pregnancy and Birth over 44 - sharing news stories I find online, for inspiration!





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Catherine

About Catherine: I am mom to three grown sons, two grandchildren and two rescue dogs. After years of raising my boys as a single mom, I remarried a wonderful man who had never had a child of his own. Unexpectedly, I found myself pregnant at 49!
Sadly we lost that precious baby at 8 weeks, and decided to try again. Five more losses, turned down for donor egg, foster care and adoption due to my age and losses - we have accepted that there will be no more babies in our house.

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