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Year : 2014  |  Volume : 15  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 235-239

Prevalence of sexual dysfunction in patients with mental illness receiving psychotropic medication

1 Consultant Psychiatrist; Manager, Medical Scientific Affairs in Clinical Research, Hyderabad, India
2 Professor of Psychiatry, Institute of Mental Health, Department of Psychiatry, Osmania Medical College, Hyderabad, India
3 Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, Institute of Mental Health, Department of Psychiatry, Osmania Medical College, Hyderabad, India

Correspondence Address:
Srinivas Kandrakonda
Address: Plot Number 457, HMT Hills, Opposite JNTUC, Kukatpally, Hyderabad- 500085
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

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Background: The exact magnitude and phase of sexual function affected remains to be elucidated for most psychotropic drugs. So far little research has been done into sexual dysfunctions that develop during the use of antipsychotics. Most clinically used psychotropics cause sexual side-effects, but the nature, severity and frequency of these effects have not been systematically studied in Indian patients. Aim: To evaluate the frequency of sexual dysfunction and its impact on treatment adherence in patients with mental illness treated with various psychotropics under routine clinical conditions. Methods: We assessed the participants' sexual functioning using Psychotropic-Related Sexual Dysfunction (PRSexDQ) is a brief and relatively nonintrusive questionnaire that has shown adequate psychometric properties in patients with mental disorder. Results: It was found that the rate of sexual dysfunction in the study group varied across the scale. However, sexual dysfunction was highest in the Antipsychotic group compared to others. Among the various domains of sexual dysfunction, decreased libido was the most common sexual dysfunction in all groups. On the PRSexDQ, all patients had sexual dysfunction on more than 1 domain (n = 20) out of 45 subjects which is higher in anti-psychotic group compared to the antidepressant group. Conclusions: In order to keep patients symptomatically stable and to help alleviate these side effects, clinicians should alter the treatment strategy, possibly by switching medications, to encourage adherence to the medication as well as optimize patients' outcomes. Our results show that sexual dysfunction is very common in patients receiving long-term treatment with antipsychotics, and it is associated with a great impact in a substantial proportion of patients.

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