Erectile dysfunction in patients taking psychotropic drugs and treated with phosphodiesterase-5 inhibitors

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Rossella Mazzilli *
Gloria Angeletti
Soraya Olana
Michele Delfino
Virginia Zamponi
Chiara Rapinesi
Antonio Del Casale
Georgios D. Kotzalidis
Jlenia Elia
Gemma Callovini
Paolo Girardi
Fernando Mazzilli
(*) Corresponding Author:
Rossella Mazzilli |


Objectives: The aim of this study was to assess the prevalence of patients with Erectile Dysfunction (ED) receiving psychotropic drugs, the impact of these drugs on hormonal profile, and the efficacy of PDE5-i in these patients.
Materials and methods: We recruited 1872 patients referring for ED to our Andrology Unit. Assessment included serum testosterone, gonadotropins, TSH, prolactin, and PSA, and the IIEF-5 questionnaire for ED diagnosis. Inclusion criteria were age 21-75 years and IIEF-5 total score ≤ 21; exclusion criteria included hypogonadism, diabetes mellitus, previous prostatectomy, other medication intake, and ED diagnosis prior to psychotropic drug treatment. Efficacy was rated with the IIEF-5 (remission: total score ≥ 22).
Results: The prevalence of ED patients treated with psychotropic drugs since ≥ 3 months was 9.5% (178/1872), subdivided according to the drugs used into: Group A, 16 patients treated with atypical antipsychotics (9.0%); Group B, 55 patients with benzodiazepines (30.9%); Group C, 33 patients with antidepressant drugs (18.5%); and Group D, 74 patients with multiple psychotropic drugs (41.6%). Patients in Group A were significantly younger than other groups (p < 0.05). The hormonal profile presented only higher prolactin level in patients treated with antipsychotics, alone or in combination (p < 0.05). Overall, 146 patients received PDE5-i. Remission rate, after three months of treatment, was significantly higher in Group B compared to C and D groups (p < 0.05).
Conclusions: A substantial portion of patients receiving psychotropic drugs show ED. Sexual performance in these patients benefits from PDE5-i. Age, effects of psychiatric disorders, psychotropic drugs, and PDE5-i treatment modality accounted for variability of response in this sample.

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