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Perspect Psychiatr Care. 2002 Jul-Sep;38(3):111-6.

Mechanisms and treatments of SSRI-induced sexual dysfunction.

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University of Alabama, Birmingham, AL, USA.


SSRI-induced sexual dysfunction affects 30% to 50% or more of individuals who take these drugs for depression. Biochemical mechanisms suggested as causative include increased serotonin, particularly affecting 5HT2 and 5HT3 receptors; decreased dopamine; blockade of cholinergic and alpha-1 adrenergic receptors; inhibition of nitric oxide synthetase; and elevation of prolactin levels. Five approaches to treatment include conservative approaches such as wait and see, decrease dosage, and drug holidays. More aggressive strategy for treating SSRI-induced sexual dysfunction are changing antidepressants and augmentation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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