Last month, I was prescribed Bupropion 150mg a day for treating anxiety. Last week, my doctor upped the dosage to 300mg a day, split up into two 150mg doses in the morning and evening. She picked this specific drug because it is not an SSRI, and therefore will not conflict with my migraine medication. I was looking up information about the drug on wikipedia, and discovered this:
Bupropion is one of few antidepressants that does not cause sexual dysfunction. According to a survey of psychiatrists, it is the drug of choice for the treatment of SSRI-induced sexual dysfunction, although this is not an FDA-approved indication. Thirty-six percent of psychiatrists preferred switching patients with SSRI-induced sexual dysfunction to bupropion, and 43% favored the augmentation of the current medication with bupropion. There are studies demonstrating the efficacy of both approaches; improvement of the desire and orgasm components of sexual function were the most often noted. For the augmentation approach, the addition of at least 200 mg/day of bupropion to the SSRI regimen may be necessary to achieve an improvement since the addition of 150 mg/day of bupropion did not produce a statistically significant difference from placebo.
Several studies have indicated that bupropion also relieves sexual dysfunction in people who do not have depression. In a mixed-gender double-blind study, 63% of subjects on a 12-week course of bupropion rated their condition as improved or much improved, versus 3% of subjects on placebo. Two studies, one of which was placebo-controlled, demonstrated the efficacy of bupropion for women with hypoactive sexual desire, resulting in significant improvement of arousal, orgasm and overall satisfaction. Bupropion also showed promise as a treatment for sexual dysfunction caused by chemotherapy for breast cancer and for orgasmic dysfunction. As with the treatment of SSRI-induced sexual disorder, a higher dose of bupropion (300 mg) may be necessary: a randomized study employing a lower dose (150 mg) failed to find a significant difference between bupropion, sexual therapy or combined treatment. Bupropion does not adversely affect any measures of sexual functioning in healthy men.
So basically, I am currently on a drug that is used to treat HSDD at the recommended dose for such a treatment. I doubt that it will have any effect on me, since according to this, the main effects are on arousal, orgasm, and overall enjoyment—none of which are things I have any problems with. (Why then, I wonder, is it prescribed for a desire disorder which may be renamed to Sexual Interest/Aversion disorder? The problem that this drug treats doesn’t seem to be with desire for or interest in having sex. It seems to be mainly with physiological function. Maybe someone can enlighten me?) But I’m open to seeing what the effects are, and whether they do indeed increase my general motivation to have sex or level of sexual attraction. So far, zilch. But it’s only been a week, and it takes time for this drug to take effect. I’ll report back on how it’s affecting me later.
I hypothesize that it won’t change my asexuality at all, because contrary to popular opinion, asexuality and HSDD are not the same thing. But I’m entertaining the possibility that it actually might. We’ll see.