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Sexual dysfunction in patients taking conventional antipsychotic medication

  • Shubulade Smith (a1), Veronica O'Keane (a2) and Robin Murray (a1)
Abstract
Background

Antipsychotic drugs are associated with sexual dysfunction but the mechanisms are poorly understood.

Aims

To ascertain the frequency of sexual dysfunction in patients taking conventional antipsychotics and to determine the possible underlying mechanisms.

Method

Sexual dysfunction was assessed in 101 patients receiving conventional antipsychotic medication, 57 normal controls and 55 controls attending a sexual dysfunction clinic.

Results

Sexual dysfunction occurred in 45% of patients taking antipsychotic medication, 17% of normal controls and 61% of controls attending a sexual dysfunction clinic. Sexual dysfunction was associated with autonomic side-effects in normoprolactinaemic males, but the presence of hyperprolactinaemia overrode other causes of sexual dysfunction. For women, hyperprolactinaemia was the main cause of sexual dysfunction.

Conclusions

Conventional antipsychotic medications cause significant levels of sexual dysfunction. Clinicians should routinely enquire about sexual symptoms prior to the prescription of antipsychotics and on follow-up.

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Copyright
Corresponding author
Shubulade Smith, Maudsley Hospital, 103 Denmark Hill, London SE5 8AZ, UK
Footnotes
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Declaration of interest

Funded by the South Thames Regional Health Authority.

Footnotes
References
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The British Journal of Psychiatry
  • ISSN: 0007-1250
  • EISSN: 1472-1465
  • URL: /core/journals/the-british-journal-of-psychiatry
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Sexual dysfunction in patients taking conventional antipsychotic medication

  • Shubulade Smith (a1), Veronica O'Keane (a2) and Robin Murray (a1)
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