Viagra can help women with antidepressant associated sexual dysfunction

Viagra (sildenafil) is a drug widely used for treating erectile dysfunction in men. New research shows that it may be useful in women with sexual dysfunction caused due to intake of anti-depressant medications. One of the commonest reported adverse effects of antidepressant medications is sexual dysfunction. Sexual dysfunction can occur in 30 to 70% of patients taking SSRI group of antidepressant medications.

Depressive disorders are two times more common in women and previous research shows that SSRIs cause greater sexual dysfunction in women. Affected women complain of impaired desire, arousal, lubrication, orgasm and also pain associated with the sexual act. Sexual dysfunction is one of the commonest cause of poor drug compliance and premature discontinuation of the antidepressant medications by the patients.

In a 8 week trial women with complaints of sexual dysfunction associated with the antidepressant medications were given Viagra 50 mg to 100 mg and an another control group was given a placebo. Researchers report that in patients taking Viagra there was a significant reduction in the adverse sexual dysfunction. Researchers conclude that using Viagra to treat antidepressant associated sexual dysfunction may reduce the adverse effects and increase the compliance of antidepressant therapy. For more information, visit http://jama.ama-assn.org/

Note: FDA has not approved Viagra for treatment of sexual dysfunction in women. Many of the investigators of the above mentioned trial have obtained research grants or other form of monetary compensation from Pfizer Inc, the manufacturer of Viagra. Common adverse events reported by women taking Viagra include headache, flushing, dyspepsia, nasal congestion and transient visual disturbance


Reference: Journal of American Medical Association (JAMA)