Use of sildenafil associated with improvement in antidepressant-related sexual dysfunction in women

Jul 22, 2008

Women with sexual dysfunction caused by the use of antidepressants experienced a reduction in adverse sexual effects with use of sildenafil, commonly known as the erectile dysfunction medication Viagra, according to a study in the July 23/30 issue of JAMA.

Treatment-related sexual dysfunction is a frequent adverse effect occurring with medication use and is a major influence for early discontinuation of antidepressant treatment, which can lead to treatment failure. Sexual dysfunction is recognized as being associated with selective and nonselective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SRI) antidepressants, which are the most frequently prescribed medications for outpatients age 18 to 65 years and represent 90 percent of the 180 million antidepressant prescriptions filled in the United States, according to background information in the article.

"Antidepressant treatment–associated sexual dysfunction is estimated to occur in 30 percent to 70 percent of men and women treated for major depression with first- or second-generation agents, a principal reason for a 3-fold increased risk of nonadherence that approaches 70 percent in the first months of treatment and leads to increased relapse, recurrence, disability, and resource utilization by affected patients," the authors write. It is believed no randomized controlled trial has demonstrated an effective treatment for women experiencing sexual dysfunction associated with SRIs.

H. George Nurnberg, M.D., of the University of New Mexico School of Medicine, Albuquerque, N.M., and colleagues compared the efficacy of sildenafil against placebo for treatment of sexual dysfunction (such as orgasm delay or lack of arousal [lubrication]) associated with SRI treatment in 98 women (average age 37) with major depression in remission. The randomized controlled clinical trial was conducted between Sept. 2003 and Jan. 2007 at seven U.S. research centers. Participants were randomly assigned to take sildenafil (n = 49) or placebo (n = 49) at a flexible dose starting at 50 mg., adjustable to 100 mg., approximately one to two hours before anticipated sexual activity, for 8 weeks.

The researchers found that 73 percent of women taking placebo, compared with 28 percent of women taking sildenafil, reported no improvement with treatment. On a clinician-rated severity improvement scale, women in the sildenafil group showed greater improvement in sexual function than women in the placebo group.

Headache, flushing, and indigestion were reported frequently during treatment, but no patients withdrew because of serious adverse effects.

"These findings are important not only because women experience major depressive disorder at nearly double the rate of men and because they experience greater resulting sexual dysfunction than men but also because it establishes that selective phosphodiesterase type 5 inhibitors [such as sildenafil] are effective in both sexes for this purpose. By treating this bothersome treatment-associated adverse effect in patients who have been effectively treated for depression, but need to continue on their medication to avoid relapse or recurrence, patients can remain antidepressant-adherent, reduce the current high rates of premature medication discontinuation, and improve depression disease management outcomes," the authors write.

Source: JAMA and Archives Journals

Explore further: Twitter increasingly used to share urological meeting info

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Comfortable climate indoors with porous glass

11 minutes ago

Proper humidity and temperature play a key role in indoor climate. In the future, establishing a comfortable indoor environment may rely on porous glass incorporated into plaster, as this regulates moisture ...

Alcatel loss narrows in 2Q but revenue stagnates

21 minutes ago

(AP)—Telecommunications equipment company Alcatel-Lucent SA says its net loss narrowed in the second quarter thanks to lower accounting charges, while revenue stagnated and restructuring charges mounted.

Simulation models optimize water power

21 minutes ago

The Columbia River basin in the Pacific Northwest offers great potential for water power; hydroelectric power stations there generate over 20 000 megawatts already. Now a simulation model will help optimize the operation ...

Recommended for you

Exploring 3-D printing to make organs for transplants

Jul 30, 2014

Printing whole new organs for transplants sounds like something out of a sci-fi movie, but the real-life budding technology could one day make actual kidneys, livers, hearts and other organs for patients ...

High frequency of potential entrapment gaps in hospital beds

Jul 30, 2014

A survey of beds within a large teaching hospital in Ireland has shown than many of them did not comply with dimensional standards put in place to minimise the risk of entrapment. The report, published online in the journal ...

Key element of CPR missing from guidelines

Jul 29, 2014

Removing the head tilt/chin lift component of rescue breaths from the latest cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) guidelines could be a mistake, according to Queen's University professor Anthony Ho.

Burnout impacts transplant surgeons (w/ Video)

Jul 28, 2014

Despite saving thousands of lives yearly, nearly half of organ transplant surgeons report a low sense of personal accomplishment and 40% feel emotionally exhausted, according to a new national study on transplant surgeon ...

User comments : 0