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When dealing with depression coupled with erectile dysfunction, treatment options will almost always point towards antidepressants. Unfortunately, many different families of antidepressants can also cause erectile dysfunction making treatment frustrating.

Erectile dysfunction and depression coupled together can represent a very challenging disease profile for even seasoned physicians to treat. A big reason for this is the fact that most antidepressants that are typically used as first-line treatment options actually predispose patients to have more frequent erectile dysfunctions in the future [1]. As a result, there is a growing number of patients turning to alternative and natural treatments for erectile dysfunction. Numerous vitamins and dietary supplements for ED that patients can try to utilize are in the vitamin family. Vitamin D from sunlight and Vitamin B3 (niacin) are two potent and safe options for patients suffering from depression. Nevertheless, they have their limits in efficacy and will not be long-term solutions when treating depression while dealing with erectile dysfunction. Antidepressants are still the best option available and in this article, we will cover what antidepressants do not cause ED. 

Bupropion 

When it comes to antidepressants, bupropion is the go-to option for patients suffering from erectile dysfunction and wary of the potential sexual dysfunction that is common when taking standard serotonin-selective reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs.) It is a medication that is well-tolerated and patients typically only have nervousness and insomnia. [2

When treating depression while dealing with erectile dysfunction, bupropion has a good track record and has been used for the last 20 years as an antidepressant. Studies indicate that is a very good medication that can help patients when given as a monotherapy for patients suffering from depression. [3]

Buproprion was also pitted against standard SSRIs, a class of medication that is often considered to be the first-line treatment option when you are suffering from depression [4]. It was determined that patients that take bupropion are less likely to have sexual dysfunction than patients that are taking SSRIs and patients report higher satisfaction and quality of life statistics compared to medications that are always used first when dealing with depression [5].

Mirtazapine 

Another potent antidepressant that patients should consider when facing erectile dysfunction and depression goes by the name of mirtazapine. This is another antidepressant medication that can help with treating depression while dealing with erectile dysfunction and also can reach a therapeutic threshold at levels much faster than traditional antidepressants. This means that patients taking the medication will notice results from the medication at a much faster point. [6]

What makes mirtazapine even more promising is the fact that this medication has a very good safety profile. Patients taking mirtazapine are much less likely to experience sexual dysfunction compared to standard antidepressant mechanisms. Unfortunately, there are some side effects that patients need to be aware of when they are taking this medication. Mirtazapine is a medication that can also be used as a treatment option for patients suffering from anorexia. This is due to the fact that when taking this medication, patients will have increased appetites and are likely to gain weight. Patients also noted higher levels of sedation, drowsiness and dry mouth. None of these side effects were enough for patients to discontinue this medication during trials, however. [7]

Not only is it well-tolerated, but it is also a very effective antidepressant medication. When compared against traditional antidepressants, mirtazapine had the same clinical effectiveness in both mild and severe cases of depression. This indicates that the medication will be just as good as first-line options for depression. [8]

Vilazodone 

With the first two options, we have steered clear of the entire SSRI class of medications because of their unfortunate predisposition of giving users erectile dysfunction. In the last decade, a new hybrid SSRI has been developed that has been crushing expectations on the effectiveness in clinical applications. This is a medication that acts like a traditional SSRI but does not have the same undesirable sexual side effects that are seen in older medications in the same class. [9]

Some of the most promising attributes of this medication are its effectiveness in even severe depression. In a Phase IV investigation of the effectiveness of vilazodone, 253 patients suffering from major clinical depression were given 40mg of Vilazodone a day for a period of 8 weeks. At the conclusion of the investigation, it was determined that vilazodone had made a significant improvement in the moods of patients compared to those in the control group. [10]

When depression is targeted in patients suffering from both depression and erectile dysfunction, it is important for patients to avoid standard antidepressants due to the likelihood of sexual dysfunction. By now, we have what antidepressants do not cause ED and patients will surely benefit from any one of the 3 mentioned. They may also choose to utilize some additional natural treatments for erectile dysfunction to help them feel even better. Some of the most notable vitamins and dietary supplements for ED that patients should consider would be Vitamin D to also help improve their moods while improving their erectile potential.