Prevalence of Antidepressant-Associated Erectile Dysfunction

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Sexual dysfunction in general and erectile dysfunction in particular are common problems in the overall population but also frequent symptoms of both untreated and treated depression. Erectile dysfunction and associated sexual dysfunction secondary to antidepressant therapy may occur in up to 90% of men with antidepressant-emergent sexual side effects; accurate assessment of prevalence rates depends on taking a detailed history regarding erectile dysfunction and other aspects of sexual function prior to treatment. In this review, we examine the available data on prevalence of erectile dysfunction and related sexual dysfunction in untreated depression and secondary to antidepressant medications compared with healthy populations. Possible mechanisms involved in serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SRI)–associated erectile dysfunction are examined. The assessment of SRI-associated erectile dysfunction is presented to aid in the management of this important and prevalent side effect. Treatment of antidepressant-associated erectile dysfunction can greatly increase the likelihood that patients will continue the medication that effectively treats their depression.​

Primary Care Companion J Clin Psychiatry 2003;5(suppl 4):5-10