The effects of agomelatine on sexual function in depressed patients and healthy volunteers

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Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) and serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor antidepressants are associated with high rates of treatment-emergent sexual dysfunction (TESD) due to stimulation of serotonin receptors.


The objective is to evaluate the effect of agomelatine on sexual function in depressed patients.


This paper reviews published and unpublished data on sexual function with agomelatine in depressed patients and healthy volunteers.


Agomelatine, an agonist of melatonergic MT1 and MT2 receptors and antagonist of 5-HT2 receptors, is associated with similar rates of sexual dysfunction compared with placebo and lower rates compared with other antidepressants. Twice as many sexually active depressed patients (n = 193) reported a deterioration of sexual function during 12 weeks of treatment with venlafaxine compared with agomelatine (15.2% vs. 8.2%, p < 0.0001); however, no differences were found with respect to arousal. Using the Arizona Sexual Experience Scale in depressed patients (n = 399), the incidence of treatment-emergent sexual dysfunction (TESD) with agomelatine (3%) was significantly lower than placebo (8.6%) and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (10.1%). Among healthy male volunteers (n = 92), TESD was not increased compared with placebo in either agomelatine (25 and 50 mg/day) group over 8 weeks, and both were significantly lower than TESD with paroxetine (p < 0.0001). Moderate or severe TESD occurred in less than 5% of subjects receiving agomelatine versus 62% who received paroxetine (p < 0.001).


Agomelatine demonstrates favorable sexual acceptability. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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