Researchers suggest that men taking SSRIs suffer a drop in sperm counts. Emma Baines investigates. What is the story? Antidepressants such as Prozac fluoxetine could be responsible for reduced fertility in men, according to media reports. The papers reported that researchers in the US had found that SSRIs, which are taken by millions of people in the UK for the treatment of depression, could be damaging male fertility.
Prozac is linked to low sperm count
Effect of antidepressant medications on semen parameters and male fertility
A case report on two patients taking the most common class of antidepressants, which includes the market leaders Seroxat and Prozac, has revealed a possible adverse effect on both the concentration and swimming ability of sperm. Doctors at the Cornell Medical Centre, in New York, who were treating the two men for infertility, found that when the patients stopped taking selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors SSRIs , their fertility problems disappeared, only to resume when they restarted antidepressants. The first patient was taking citalopram, known as Cipramil in Britain. The second was on sertraline, which is sold as Lustral in Britain.
Can antidepressants cause male infertility?
Language: English French. Question Some of my male patients who are taking antidepressants are planning to become fathers. Do selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors SSRIs affect sperm, causing either decreased fertility or increased risk of congenital anomalies?
This study goes one step further, demonstrating that they can cause a major increase in genetic damage to sperm," says Dr. Peter Schlegel, the study's senior author. These men should talk with their physician about their treatment options, including non-SSRI depression medications. The study followed 35 healthy male volunteers who were given paroxetine, a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor SSRI , for five weeks. The drug was used because of its relatively short half-life and because it has previously shown to exert the strongest effect in delaying ejaculation.