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Psychoneuroendocrinology. 2006 Apr;31(3):340-6. Epub 2005 Sep 28.

A randomized double-blind 12-week study of quetiapine, risperidone or fluphenazine on sexual functioning in people with schizophrenia.

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  • 1Maryland Psychiatric Research Center, University of Maryland, Box 21247, Baltimore, 21228, USA.


Sexual dysfunction is common in people suffering from schizophrenia and is reported by patients to be a significant reason for medication nonadherence. This report contains data for 27 people with schizophrenia who participated in a randomized double-blind 12-week trial of risperidone (4 mg/day), quetiapine (400 mg/day) or fluphenazine (12.5 mg/day). At baseline and endpoint, subjects were rated on the Changes in Sexual Function Questionnaire (CSFQ), the Prolactin-Related Adverse Event Questionnaire (PRAEQ) and had prolactin levels drawn. Endpoint prolactin levels were 50.6 +/- 40.4, 24.4 +/- 18.5, and 8.2 +/- 4.4 mg/dl for risperidone (N = 12), fluphenazine (N = 9) and quetiapine (N=6), respectively (F = 7.5,df = 2, p = 0.005, controlling for sex). Orgasm quality/ability improved significantly for quetiapine as compared to fluphenazine and risperidone (F = 4.41, df = 2, p = 0.033). Seventy-eight percent of patients on fluphenazine reported sexual dysfunction whereas did only 42 and 50% of those on risperidone and quetiapine. Forty percent of quetiapine patients reported they felt better about their sexuality as compared to previous treatment, as did 55% on risperidone. Conversely, only 13% of fluphenazine subjects reported any improvement. Hormonal problems (menstrual problems, gynecomastia, galactorrhea) were predominately observed in risperidone-treated subjects. Overall, quetiapine was associated with a normalization of prolactin levels and had the greatest benefits among these drugs regarding sexual functioning.

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