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J Psychopharmacol. 2011 Mar;25(3):370-8. doi: 10.1177/0269881109351966. Epub 2010 Jan 15.

Reversal of SSRI-induced female sexual dysfunction by adjunctive bupropion in menstruating women: a double-blind, placebo-controlled and randomized study.

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Shahid Beheshti University MC, Tehran, Iran.


A significant number of patients undergoing treatment with selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) report sexual dysfunction. SSRI-induced sexual dysfunction adversely affects quality of life and patient adherence to and compliance with treatment regimens. This trial examined the efficacy and safety of adjunctive bupropion in the treatment of SSRI-induced female sexual dysfunction. Sexual function was assessed by using the sexual function domains of the Female Sexual Function Index (primary efficacy outcome measure) and the Clinical Global Impression Scale adapted for sexual function (secondary efficacy outcome measure). End point treatment satisfaction was assessed using a Visual Analog Scale. A total of 218 women (25-45 years old) with SSRI-induced sexual dysfunction were randomized to receive 12 weeks of double-blind fixed dosed treatment with bupropion sustained release 150 mg b.i.d. (n = 109) or placebo (n = 109). The mean (SD) for Female Sexual Function Index total score was higher in the bupropion sustained release group (25.9 (5.12), 95% confidence interval (CI) 22.2-29.4) than in the placebo group (17.2 (4.9), 95% CI 15.8-20.1) (p = 0.001). Mean (SD) Clinical Global Impression Scale score for the bupropion group (2.4 (0.6), 95% CI 2.0-3.6) was significantly lower than that for the placebo group (4.2 (0.8), 95% CI 3.4-5.4) (p = 0.001). At the end of the trial the mean (SD) scores for desire (4.1 (0.7), 95% CI 3.5-4.8) (p = 0.001), arousal (4.4 (0.6), 95% CI 3.7-4.8) (p = 0.01), lubrication (4.4 (0.4), 95% CI 3.3-4.8) (p = 0.001), orgasm (4.4 (0.5), 95% CI 3.7-4.7) (p = 0.001), and satisfaction (4.2 (0.7), 95% CI 3.4-4.8) (p = 0.001) were significantly higher in the bupropion group. The highest improvement was observed in sexual desire, followed by lubrication. Compared with baseline, desire and lubrication domains increased by 86.4% (95% CI 64.9-102.2%, p = 0.001) and 69.2% (95% CI 44.7-82.6%, p = 0.001) in the bupropion group. Adjunctive treatment with bupropion sustained release during a 12-week period significantly improved key aspects of sexual function in women with SSRI-induced sexual dysfunction.

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