Assessing Sexual Function of Patients Before Initiating SSRI Therapy

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Sir: The recent article in the Companion by Dr. Ferguson on the adverse effects and tolerability of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs)1 is a superb review of the common side effects associated with one of the most widely prescribed medication classes in the United States. As more patients are diagnosed with depression, in large part due to earlier recognition and intervention on the part of primary care physicians, more patients will be offered antidepressant therapy with its attendant risks (i.e., side effects). The discussion about sexual dysfunction highlights the importance and necessity of physicians who prescribe SSRIs, or any psychotropic, to obtain a thorough sexual function history, not only because patients may not disclose this information unless prompted, but also because the dysfunction may be due to their psychiatric illness. ​​

Primary Care Companion J Clin Psychiatry 2001;3(4):181 [letter]

https://doi.org/10.4088/PCC.v03n0407a