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Saturday, September 9, 2017

Insights into the TREATMENT of PSSD (Post-SSRI-Sexual Dysfunction) (Area-1255 PSSD Article PART 3)

In my previous two articles I have elaborated on the mechanisms of PSSD (possible causes/culprits) and as well have posed some "suggestions" for its treatment. However, I have since revised my train of thought and have come up with some new conclusions. This article aims to be the most expansive PSSD treatment article in which we will also cover the research (including new research) later on.

PSSD is an unfortunate condition in where prior users of SSRI-medications and sometimes SNRI medications experience lasting sexual dysfunction and often, emotional difficulties such as Apathy, lack of "feelings"/Anhedonia, loss of motivations and cognitive difficulties. These issues also sometimes become so pronounced that affected patients have a severe relapse in Psychiatric symptoms - including Depression. Depression being a key diagnosis in the majority of the cases of PSSD. However, to say that Depression is a cause of PSSD symptoms is ludicrous. Especially since the MAJORITY of affected individuals actually lose feelings of Sadness as well (in Anhedonia, all emotions are very weak). 

This ongoing condition threatens the mental stability and quality of life for the affected.

Additionally, there is scarce research on this condition (even though its been kicking up in recent years). It was actually on request by thousands and even possibly tens of thousands of Patients who have written to Doctors, other Medical Professionals and Research Centers - that increased studying of this condition was taken upon as an objective. 

Big players like Dr.David Healy took an oath as a "healer" and someone dedicated to improving the Health of their Patients, and as such have been extremely involved in the PSSD communities. Indeed, people like him are the only ones fighting for the PSSD patients from the beginning - though others are now joining in. Research center publications on PSSD and information articles are more and more common, now.

PSSD is STILL A Dark Tunnel, Where's the Flashlight? 

While PSSD is still a dark corner in terms of research (despite new developments), the bigger question many are asking is why isn't there a solid, proposed treatment that can actually help the majority of PSSD sufferers? Why isn't there an approved treatment? When all kinds of new pharmaceuticals are being developed for Alzheimer's and even Depression; many of which are going in new directions. There is a lack of the same effort being made for current patients who have failed to recover from the treatment-related side-effects. 

Where research HAS been done, it is mostly based on the concept of repurposing existing drugs for the *possible* treatment of PSSD.

However, even with these approaches the science is often flawed or these repurposed drugs have too many side-effects. 

The medical research communities have been struggling to give people a flashlight, so how do we get them to lead us to the light at the end of the tunnel? 

I think everyone, wants to know the answer to that.

Patients aren't the only ones suffering, but spouses and other family members who witness the distress and lessened quality of life are in high hopes for change.

INNOVATIONS In Sexual Dysfunction Treatment Often Fall Short

Drugs like Viagra & Filbanserin are developed and marketed specifically for sexual dysfunction in Men & Women, respectively. However, even these treatments do not always work. There's a good portion of specifically PSSD-patients (big surprise!) that do not experience improvement from these drugs. is a remarkable story of people from all over the world who have tried next to everything to treat their PSSD.

Additionally, we ourselves have opened up a PSSD community - where we are seeing members sign-up and are glad to invite them on our couch. 

You see, I developed this blog as an information center for minds craving knowledge, but I also developed this site and our related sites to improve the health of people everywhere.
So its a real shame to me when I see that some issues are being completely ignored, however, one must understand there is Politics involved in such things.

Luckily, this is all changing.


Let's get back to repurposed drugs for PSSD.
  • Loratadine; a well-known antihistamine mostly sold as "Claritin" tablets, had produced marked improvement in erectile function in Men who had lasting SSRI-induced sexual dysfunction [!].
  • Wellbutrin or Bupropion, a well-known antidepressant that acts to increase Dopamine and Noradrenaline levels, has seen some success in treating SSRI-related loss of libido and erectile failure [!]. There were some benefits in treating Women with PSSD as well, however the results were not as impressive and only 46% of Women recovered versus 75% of Men, included in the studies. This ratio  seems to carry on and is consistent with reports on forums.
  • Buspirone; an anti-anxiety  drug which produces the metabolite 1-PP, is often added as an adjunct to help improve symptoms of concomitant Anxiety, when the primary diagnosis is Depression or in those who fail to see a satisfactory response [!], and is also used to treat SSRI-related sexual dysfunction, with modest results  [!].
  • Yohimbine; a well known ergogenic aid fat burner, once known as the "only" treatment for Erectile Dysfunction in Men, was long-lost to its replacement - Viagra. Then, when PSSD was first reported, Yohimbine was repurposed, and found benefit in some smaller trials [!].
  • Nefazodone, an antidepressant drug was found superior to many other remedies in treating SSRI-associated sexual dysfunction, but had many side-effects at a significant drop-out rate in later studies[!].

So in conclusion, these drugs have shown some real-life user support and scientific support, but they don't work for everyone and often have two problems.
1.) Not all symptoms are resolved.
2.) There are unpleasant side-effects.

Now the side-effect thing could be worked upon by...
1.) Producing better, more "selective" drugs that produce fewer side-effects.
2.) Altering the dose to be more reasonable and still effective.

Going on, the other issues with research are we need larger trials involving new drugs, not just repurposed drugs. Repurposed drugs are old, often "dirty" (hit too many targets at once) and plus, have worn out their welcome due to side-effects. OR, they just don't produce enough benefit, as stated above.

Herbal and natural remedies constitute some of the most effective medicines, though they often work "slower" or take longer amounts of time to produce benefits (especially if you aren't already in good health) - they are not doubted anymore by the scientific community. Well, at least not in the ways they were before. They are more accepted and have more empirical evidence as larger trials are being conducted.

In regards to PSSD, several herbs have been found to be beneficial.

  • Saffron, most of all has been shown to produce not only measurable benefit in Depression, but sexual dysfunctions of all kinds and especially, SSRI-induced as well [!].
  • Ginkgo Biloba is an herbal remedy used as a nootropic, or brain-booster, and improves sexual health for Men & Women who have previously experienced sexual dysfunction on SSRI's. Nature's Way Ginkgold is usually the best brand and the most studied as the patented "EGB 761" Extract [!].
So, with all of  this information presented - we certainly have a good amount of research in terms of remedies, but there is still A LOT of room for Progress! What we need to find out is...
  • What consistencies can be uncovered and aligned in each study and with each remedy.
  • Is there a CORE epigenetic change that is being modified by each of these treatments?
  • What else can we elucidate by introducing new remedies?
  • How can we expand research at the molecular level?
  • How can improve (and not disrupt) any Mental Health Issues to ensure continued Patient-Doctor involvement in resolving these issues, for many?
These are all very serious, important considerations for Patients, Researchers, Doctors and the like. Everyone must be involved in this. Everyone must GET INVOLVED. That is the ONLY way to find solutions. As time goes on, I will be adding more to this article. As studies are continued, and conclusions are drawn, more of these questions will be addressed in full.

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