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APA: Bupropion May Help Women With Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder

A study presented at this year's American Psychiatric Association annual meeting found that bupropion hydrochloride sustained-release tablets may be an effective treatment for hypoactive sexual desire disorder (HSDD) in females.

HSDD affects at least 20 percent of women in the United States. Psychotherapy has been proven minimally effective in treating this condition and there is no approved drug treatment.

Researchers reported that almost one-third of the female subjects responded to the treatment, with increases in the number of episodes of sexual arousal, sexual fantasy, and interest in engaging in sexual activity.

The multi-center study included 66 non-depressed women ranging in age from 23 to 65 years who had experienced HSDD for an average of six years. All 66 women received a placebo for four weeks, and 51 then received active treatment for eight weeks. Eleven dropped out of the study during the placebo phase, four dropped out at the beginning of the treatment phase.

Response was seen as early as two weeks during the treatment phase. By the end of the eight-week treatment phase, the response rate indicated a more than two-fold increase in frequency in interest in sexual activity (from an average of 0.9 times at the end of the placebo phase to 2.3 times after treatment), almost double the frequency of sexual arousal (from 1.3 to 2.4 times, on average), and more than twice the number of sexual fantasies (from 0.7 times to 1.8 times, on average following treatment).

Subjects were evaluated during bi-weekly clinic visits.


 


"The results of this study are encouraging. One aspect that demonstrated a substantial improvement was that by the end of the treatment phase nearly 40 percent reported being satisfied with their sexual desire, whereas 100 percent were dissatisfied before starting treatment," said lead investigator R. Taylor Segraves, M.D., Ph.D., professor of psychiatry at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine and chair of the Department of Psychiatry at MetroHealth Medical Center. "Further research is needed on the use of bupropion hydrochloride SR as a treatment for HSDD -- a condition which can cause emotional distress and problems in intimate relationships," Dr. Segraves added.

One of the most obvious ways in which people differ is in terms of their interest in sex, usually called sex drive.HSDD is characterized by a combination of factors including persistently diminished or absent sexual fantasies or desire for sexual activity, and can affect both men and women; a person diagnosed with HSDD can still function sexually.

Bupropion hydrochloride SR was generally well tolerated and no clinically significant changes in vital signs or weight gain were reported during the study. Five percent of subjects reported that insomnia (18 percent), tremor (6 percent) and rash (6 percent) occurred more frequently during the treatment phase than during the placebo phase. Ten percent discontinued the study due to an adverse event such as rash, hives or urticaria.

Bupropion hydrochloride SR is not associated with sexual side effects which are common to selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). This is likely attributable to its enhancement of certain neurotransmitters -- norepinephrine and dopamine -- that affect sexual desire. Buproprion hydrochloride SR has been shown to reverse or minimize sexual dysfunction associated with SSRIs such as Prozac, Paxil, and , when patients either switch to Wellbutrin SR or use it as an add-on to existing antidepressant treatment. Bupropion hydrochloride SR is approved for the treatment of depression and is marketed as Wellbutrin SR by Glaxo Wellcome Inc.

next: Depression Drug Helps Women With Low Sex Drive

APA Reference
Writer, H. (2008, December 14). APA: Bupropion May Help Women With Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2019, June 20 from https://www.healthyplace.com/sex/female-sexual-dysfunction/apa-bupropion-may-help-women-with-hypoactive-sexual-desire-disorder

Last Updated: April 6, 2016

Medically reviewed by Harry Croft, MD

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