A literature review of antithrombotic and anticoagulating agents on sexual function

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Although millions of people receive antithrombotic agents (ATAs) or anticoagulating agents (ACAs) for vascular prophylaxis daily, the negative impact of these agents on sexual function has not been systematically studied. Therefore, a literature search was conducted to determine the effects of the marketed ATAs and ACAs on sexual function. In regard to men, the results show that thienopyridine derivatives increase the risk of erectile dysfunction (ED) and decrease libido and sexual function. The relationship between aspirin use and ED is inconsistent, ranging from a moderate risk to beneficial effects. Nonetheless, aspirin appears to result in a lower risk for ED than does clopidogrel, and seems to benefit patients with lithium-induced ED. Coumarin can cause vasculogenic priapism. In regard to women, only a single report of genital haemorrhage was found. Available data exclusively focus on male subjects. Taken together, ATAs and ACAs can disturb sexual function in different aspects in men. Newer thienopyridine derivatives, such as prasugrel or ticagrelor, may be used as a substitute for clopidogrel when sexual dysfunction occurs. Priapism and genital haemorrhage were found to be uncommon but serious complications of ACA treatment. Additional studies examining the effects of ATAs and ACAs on sexual function are needed, especially in woman and elderly.

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