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Gen Hosp Psychiatry. 2015 Jan-Feb;37(1):40-5. doi: 10.1016/j.genhosppsych.2014.10.010. Epub 2014 Oct 30.

Antidepressant-induced sexual dysfunction during treatment with fluoxetine, sertraline and trazodone; a randomized controlled trial.

Author information

Sleep Disorders Research Center, Kermanshah University of Medical Science (KUMS), Kermanshah, Iran. Electronic address:
Sleep Disorders Research Center, Kermanshah University of Medical Science (KUMS), Kermanshah, Iran. Electronic address:
Psychiatrist, Farabi hospital, Department of psychiatry, Kermanshah University of Medical Science (KUMS), Kermanshah, Iran. Electronic address:
Research Center for Environmental Determinants of Health (RCEDH), School of Population Health, Kermanshah University of Medical Sciences (KUMS), Kermanshah, Iran. Electronic address:



Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are common treatments for patients with major depressive disorder (MDD). However, adverse effects of SSRIs on sexual function are common in the treatment of patients with MDD. There is a discrepancy in the reported frequency of SSRI-induced sexual dysfunction. On the other hand, there is also less evidence about sexual dysfunction with serotonin receptor antagonists and reuptake inhibitors (SARIs). Therefore, we aimed to assess sexual dysfunction in MDD patients who received fluoxetine, sertraline and trazodone.


In a single-blind, randomized, controlled trial in Kermanshah, Iran, during 2009-2010, 195 patients who met the DSMIV-IR criteria for MDD were enrolled. The patients completed the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HAM-D) and the sexual function questionnaire (SFQ). Eligible patients were allocated in three treatment groups (receiving fluoxetine, sertraline or trazodone) for 14 weeks randomly. Measurement of HAMD was repeated in 4-week interval. Analysis for comparing sexual dysfunction among three groups and men and women was performed.


There were 102 men and 93 women in the three groups receiving fluoxetine (n=64), sertraline (n=67) and trazodone (n=64). There was no significant difference in the sexual dysfunction of the patients in the three groups at baseline (P>.05). After treatment, both men and women who had received fluoxetine had the most impairment in desire/drive items (43%-51% and 44%-50%, respectively), while patients receiving trazodone had the least impairment in these items (12%-18% and 23%-24%, respectively). Trazodone was also induced with a lower rate of impairment in arousal/orgasm items in men (9%-15%) compared with the other two drugs. Compared with fluoxetine and trazodone, sertraline was associated with intermediate impairment in sexual function (39%-42% in desire/drive items and 32%-39% in arousal/orgasm items) that was lower than that with fluoxetine and more than that with trazodone.


There were different rates of sexual dysfunction with different antidepressants drugs in under treated patients. Compared with fluoxetine, and sertraline, trazodone was associated with the fewest sexual dysfunction. Fluoxetine was also associated with more sexual dysfunction than sertraline. Further research to better identify the differences among antidepressant drugs is recommended.


Fluoxetine; Major depression disorders; Sertraline; Sexual dysfunction; Trazodone

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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