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Clin Ter. 2014;165(3):e243-52. doi: 10.7417/CT.2014.1728.

[Psychotropic-associated sexual dysfunctions: a survey of clinical pharmacology and medication-associated practice].

[Article in Italian]

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Dipartimento di Medicina Clinica, Sanità Pubblica, Scienze della Vita e dell'Ambiente, Università di L'Aquila, Servizio di Monitoraggio e Intervento precoce per la Lotta agli Esordi della sofferenza mentale e psicologica nei giovani (SMILE), Ospedale "San Salvatore", L'Aquila, Italia.


Epidemiological and clinical studies show that often persons affected by depression and schizophrenia can suffer of impairment of the sexual function. Most antidepressant and antipsychotic drugs have adverse sexual effects but it is difficult to identify if the impairment of the sexual function can be attributed to clinical picture or to the psychopharmacological treatments. Both antidepressants and novel and conventional antipsychotics are associated with significant sexual side effects and the presence of sexual side effects may affect compliance and adherence to treatment. In some specific clinical populations (e.g. youths), these specific side-effects turn out to be one of the most annoying and promote increased drop-out rates and poor adherence to treatment. Nevertheless, these clinical variables are often underestimated or not investigated in the course of follow-up of persons suffering from psychiatric disorders in treatment with psychotropic medications. Growing awareness of the adverse effects of psychotropic drugs has led to attempts to use adjuvants or substitute treatments to resolve sexual dysfunction. Effects on sexual function should be carefully diagnosed and treated; it should clearly discuss with patients in order to preserve an adequate quality of life, promote greater adherence to treatment and promote a good remission and recovery. The aim of this study is to review the most recent and significant literature data regarding association between sexual dysfunction and psychotropic medications, especially highlighting neurobiological and clinical data in order to improve the clinical pratice.

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