Study Shows Promising Treatment for Women With Low Sex Drive

Results Published in Journal of Sex and Marital Therapy



Apr 18, 2001, 01:00 ET from Case Western Reserve University

    CLEVELAND, April 18 /PRNewswire/ -- A study published in the May-June
 issue of the Journal of Sex and Marital Therapy found that bupropion
 hydrochloride sustained-release tablets may be an effective treatment for
 hypoactive sexual desire disorder (HSDD) in females, a deficiency or absence
 of sexual desire and fantasies for sexual activity.
     HSDD affects at least 20 percent of women in the United States.
 Currently, there is no approved drug treatment for HSDD and psychotherapy has
 proven minimally effective.
     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.
 According to 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, 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 of 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).  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.
     "The results of this study are encouraging, especially in light of the
 need for more attention to this issue," said Segraves.  "Low libido is the
 most common complaint among women experiencing sexual dysfunction.  HSDD is a
 condition that can cause emotional distress and problems in intimate
 relationships.  Hopefully, our knowledge of how to diagnose and treat female
 sexual dysfunction will expand in the next decade."
     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.  Subjects were evaluated during biweekly clinic
 visits.  Eleven dropped out of the study during the placebo phase, four
 dropped out at the beginning of the treatment phase.
     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 approved for the treatment of depression and
 is marketed as Wellbutrin SR(R) by GlaxoSmithKline.  Bupropion hydrochloride
 SR is not associated with sexual side effects which are common to selective
 serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) antidepressant treatment, and has been
 shown to reverse or minimize sexual dysfunction when patients either switch to
 bupropion SR or use it as an add-on to SSRIs.  This is likely attributable to
 its enhancement of certain neurotransmitters -- norepinephrine and dopamine
 -- that affect sexual desire.
 
 

SOURCE Case Western Reserve University
    CLEVELAND, April 18 /PRNewswire/ -- A study published in the May-June
 issue of the Journal of Sex and Marital Therapy found that bupropion
 hydrochloride sustained-release tablets may be an effective treatment for
 hypoactive sexual desire disorder (HSDD) in females, a deficiency or absence
 of sexual desire and fantasies for sexual activity.
     HSDD affects at least 20 percent of women in the United States.
 Currently, there is no approved drug treatment for HSDD and psychotherapy has
 proven minimally effective.
     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.
 According to 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, 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 of 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).  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.
     "The results of this study are encouraging, especially in light of the
 need for more attention to this issue," said Segraves.  "Low libido is the
 most common complaint among women experiencing sexual dysfunction.  HSDD is a
 condition that can cause emotional distress and problems in intimate
 relationships.  Hopefully, our knowledge of how to diagnose and treat female
 sexual dysfunction will expand in the next decade."
     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.  Subjects were evaluated during biweekly clinic
 visits.  Eleven dropped out of the study during the placebo phase, four
 dropped out at the beginning of the treatment phase.
     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 approved for the treatment of depression and
 is marketed as Wellbutrin SR(R) by GlaxoSmithKline.  Bupropion hydrochloride
 SR is not associated with sexual side effects which are common to selective
 serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) antidepressant treatment, and has been
 shown to reverse or minimize sexual dysfunction when patients either switch to
 bupropion SR or use it as an add-on to SSRIs.  This is likely attributable to
 its enhancement of certain neurotransmitters -- norepinephrine and dopamine
 -- that affect sexual desire.
 
 SOURCE  Case Western Reserve University