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Prevalence of Antidepressant-Associated Erectile Dysfunction

Raymond C. Rosen, PhD, and Humberto Marin, MD

Published: August 1, 2003

Article Abstract

Sexual dysfunction in general and erectile dysfunction in particular are common problems in theoverall population but also frequent symptoms of both untreated and treated depression. Erectile dysfunctionand associated sexual dysfunction secondary to antidepressant therapy may occur in up to90% of men with antidepressant-emergent sexual side effects; accurate assessment of prevalence ratesdepends on taking a detailed history regarding erectile dysfunction and other aspects of sexual functionprior to treatment. In this review, we examine the available data on prevalence of erectile dysfunctionand related sexual dysfunction in untreated depression and secondary to antidepressant medicationscompared with healthy populations. Possible mechanisms involved in serotonin reuptakeinhibitor (SRI)-associated erectile dysfunction are examined. The assessment of SRI-associated erectiledysfunction 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 thatpatients will continue the medication that effectively treats their depression.

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