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Pharmacotherapy. 2013 Apr;33(4):411-21. doi: 10.1002/phar.1209.

Hypoactive sexual desire disorder in women: treatment options beyond testosterone and approaches to communicating with patients on sexual health.

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Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, Albany, NY 12208, USA.


Hypoactive sexual desire disorder (HSDD) affects nearly 1 in 10 women. Thus, it is essential for pharmacists and other health care providers to be comfortable when discussing a patient's sexual health to ensure appropriate triage so that the specific causes of HSDD can be identified and potential recommendations provided. HSDD is defined as the absence or deficiency of sexual interest and/or desire, leading to significant distress and interpersonal difficulties. As health care providers, pharmacists have a critical role in assessing the presence of HSDD and providing education on available treatment options. This article will review the potential causes of HSDD and low sexual desire, the screening tools available, and the significant role of health care professionals in communicating with patients about their sexual health. An overview of the importance of behavioral modifications, the current pharmacologic options being investigated, and the use of complementary and alternative therapies will also be explored. Currently, buproprion is the primary pharmacologic agent that has shown positive results in treating patients with HSDD. The use of testosterone therapy will not be addressed in this article, as this therapy is described in greater detail elsewhere.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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