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Comparison of Sexual Dysfunction in Male Schizophrenic Patients Maintained on Treatment With Classical Antipsychotics Versus Clozapine

J Clin Psychiatry 2001;62:541-544

Background: Antipsychotic treatment is frequently associated with sexual dysfunction. The objective of the present study was to evaluate and compare sexual function and behavior in male schizophrenic patients who regularly take either classical neuroleptic drugs or the prototypical atypical antipsychotic agent, clozapine.

Method: Participants included 60 schizophrenic male patients (DSM-IV criteria); 30 maintained on treatment with classical antipsychotics and 30 on treatment with clozapine. The patients were evaluated with a detailed 18-item sexual function questionnaire.

Results: Both groups reported sexual dysfunction, although scores were significantly higher, indicating better functioning, in the clozapine-treated group in the domains of orgasmic function (number of orgasms per month, p = .037; frequency of orgasm during sex, p = .046), enjoyment of sex (p = .013), and sexual satisfaction (p = .0004). Equivocal results were obtained for the desire parameters.

Conclusion: Maintenance therapy with the atypical neuroleptic clozapine may be associated with a lesser degree of sexual dysfunction than the classical antipsychotics in male outpatients with chronic schizophrenia.