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Cymbalta affects sexual function less than Lexapro

What’s more depressing than adding erectile dysfunction to your major depression woes?

Scientists reported that Cymbalta isn’t as much of a sexual downer as Lexapro at the American Psychiatric Association 2006 annual meeting in Toronto.

Two-thirds of patients discontinue treatment with antidepressants because of side effects, specifically sexual side effects, which increases the likelihood of depression relapse, Dr. Anita Clayton, University of Virginia in Charlottesville, told Reuters Health.

Patients with depression were randomly assigned Cymbalta, Lexapro or a placebo and completed a survey of sexual function at regular intervals during the eight-week study.

According to the study, Cymbalta was more effective at fighting depression while patients reported sexual side effects similar to that of the placebo group.

The study, funded by the Eli Lilly and Company, found that after eight months, the sexual side effects of Cymbalta and Lexapro evened out.

"We know that among people with sexual dysfunction associated with SSRI (antidepressants), 5 percent to 10 percent get over it. They become acclimated to it, but it takes about 4 to 6 months," Clayton told Reuters Health.