An estimated one in six Americans use antidepressant medications. But how many know the real world potential side effects of those drugs? Many of them long-lasting, even after drug usage is discontinued.

A growing movement of people across the globe are trying to raise awareness about a seldom discussed topic: youth sexual dysfunction and its ties to these popular medications. Sexual issues such as low libido and erectile dysfunction are not unusual for those over the age of 40, but many young people may not know that they could possibly run into these physical health issues if they are prescribed meds to treat mental health issues.

Brand names like Prozac, Zoloft, Celexa, Lexapro, Paxil and Paxeva are to blame, according to the individuals behind the Post-SSRI Sexual Dysfunction awareness groups. The brain chemical mechanism that many of these drugs use to prevent low emotions may also have the side effect of killing the joy of not just sexual relations, but also of human experience joys such as music and artwork.

SSRI is an acronym for selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor. They are the most commonly prescribed antidepressant, according to the Mayo Clinic. The side effects for sexual problems are listed on the Mayor Clinic’s page. Although many assume that these problems will go away after drug use discontinues and that’s not made clear.

75% of television media advertising is from the pharmaceutical industry, so it does not surprise many PSSD Awareness advocates as to the major reason why they’ve had difficulties getting their message into mainstream media outlets. All one has to do is turn on the nightly news programs to see these drug commercials in action. Journalists, who rely on those drug companies’ ad dollars to maintain their job security, will not bite the hand that feeds them.

Governments are supposed to protect consumers from harm. In the year 2018, the PSSD Awareness community submitted a petition to the Food and Drug Administration, pleading with them to add warning labels to certain medicinal products. In addition to SSRIs, serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) such as Cymbalta, Pristiq and Effexor were included in their petition. Similar to warning labels on alcohol and tobacco products. They were unsuccessful. Perhaps this will change in the year 2024?

Pristiq commercial from the year 2010