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World J Biol Psychiatry. 2011 Oct;12(7):528-38. doi: 10.3109/15622975.2011.559270. Epub 2011 Mar 9.

Sexual dysfunction during treatment with serotonergic and noradrenergic antidepressants: clinical description and the role of the 5-HTTLPR.

Author information

  • 1Central Institute of Mental Health, Division of Genetic Epidemiology in Psychiatry, Mannheim, Germany. jana.strohmaier@zi-mannheim.de

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

Sexual dysfunction (SD) is a frequently reported side-effect of antidepressant treatment, particularly of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). In the multicentre clinical and pharmacogenetic GENDEP study (Genome-based Therapeutic Drugs for Depression), the effect of the serotonin transporter gene promoter polymorphism 5-HTTLPR on sexual function was investigated during treatment with escitalopram (SSRI) and nortriptyline (tricyclic antidepressant).

METHODS:

A total of 494 subjects with an episode of DSM-IV major depression were randomly assigned to treatment with escitalopram or nortriptyline. Over 12 weeks, depressive symptoms and SD were measured weekly with the Montgomery-Asberg Depression Rating Scale, the Antidepressant Side-Effect Checklist, the UKU Side Effect Rating Scale, and the Sexual Functioning Questionnaire.

RESULTS:

The incidence of reported SD after 12 weeks of treatment was relatively low, and did not differ significantly between antidepressants (14.9% escitalopram, 19.7% nortriptyline). There was no significant interaction between the 5-HTTLPR and antidepressant on SD. Improvement in depressive symptoms and younger age were both associated with lower SD. The effect of age on SD may have been moderated by the 5-HTTLPR.

CONCLUSIONS:

In GENDEP, rates of reported SD during treatment were lower than those described in previous reports. There was no apparent effect of the 5-HTTLPR on the observed decline in SD.

PMID:
21388237
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3279131
Free PMC Article

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