Antipsychotics and sexual functioning in persons with psychoses

H. Knegtering*, R. Bruggeman, S. Castelein, D. Wiersma

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

    6 Citations (Scopus)


    BACKGROUND: So far little research has been done into sexual dysfunctions that develop during the use of antipsychotics. However, over the last 10 years a great deal of new and clinically useful information has become available. AIM: To provide information about the frequency, nature and pathogenesis of sexual dysfunctions that arise during treatment with antipsychotics and to suggest some ways of tackling such problems in clinical practice. RESULTS: In 30 to 60% of cases the use of antipsychotics is linked to sexual dysfunctions such as loss of libido, erectile and/or lubrication problems and orgasm and ejaculation disorders. If sexual dysfunctions are not actively addressed by clinicians they are likely to be underreported. The most frequent sexual dysfunctions are a result of treatment with antipsychotics with a high affinity for dopamine receptors and/or that cause a marked rise in the prolactin level. Antipsychotic-induced sexual disjunctions are probably linked to a lower quality of life and lower treatment compliance. Possible mechanisms that underlie the influence of antipsychotics on sexual functioning are discussed. Also discussed are possible interventions designed to reduce sexual dysfunction. CONCLUSIONS: During treatment with antipsychotics sexual dysfunctions occur frequently, depending on the type of antipsychotics prescribed. If clinicians actively address the problems of sexual dysfunction, they may often be able to arrive at a solution by giving information, by prescribing a different antipsychotic, by reducing the dose and/or by prescribing appropriate supplementary medication.

    Translated title of the contributionAntipsychotics and sexual functioning in persons with psychoses
    Original languageDutch
    Pages (from-to)733-742
    Number of pages10
    JournalTijdschrift voor Psychiatrie
    Issue number10
    Publication statusPublished - 25-Oct-2007

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