• Journal Article

Prevalence and impact of antidepressant-associated sexual dysfunction in three European countries: Replication in a cross-sectional patient survey

Citation

Williams, V., Edin, H. M., Hogue, S., Fehnel, S., & Baldwin, D. S. (2010). Prevalence and impact of antidepressant-associated sexual dysfunction in three European countries: Replication in a cross-sectional patient survey. Journal of Psychopharmacology, 24(4), 489-496.

Abstract

Sexual dysfunction is a common but often unrecognized side effect of many antidepressants. Building upon the results of a previous investigation, this study aimed to assess the prevalence and impact of antidepressant-associated sexual dysfunction (AASD) in three European countries. A cross-sectional survey of 704 adults in Germany, Spain, and The Netherlands was used in the study. All participants had recently started taking a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor or serotonin- noradrenaline reuptake inhibitor. Information about other medications and conditions known to impair sexual functioning was gathered, and changes in sexual functioning and the impact of such changes were assessed. The SF-12 and Arizona Sexual Experience Scale (ASEX) were administered to measure health status and sexual functioning. AASD was defined using ASEX scores and information regarding changes in sexual functioning. ASEX scores generally exceeded the threshold defining sexual dysfunction: 67.2% in the German, 79.4% in the Spanish, and 73.3% in the Dutch samples. The prevalence of AASD was conservatively estimated to be between 37.1% (German sample) and 61.5% (Spanish sample). Overall, 46.4% of male and 52.1% of female participants were classified with AASD. Patients classified with AASD reported significantly worse quality of life (QoL), self-esteem, mood, and relationships with partners, compared with non-AASD patients. There were significant differences between patients with and without AASD in SF-12 Mental Component scores, with AASD patients displaying poorer mental well-being. Sexual dysfunction is a frequent occurrence during antidepressant treatment, and is associated with reduced QoL and self-esteem, and negative effects on mood and relationships