Purpose: We assessed the tolerability, safety and efficacy of sildenafil for the treatment of women with sexual dysfunction secondary to multiple sclerosis, as well as the role of somatosensory evoked potential neurophysiological testing.
Materials and methods: We performed a double-blind, randomized, placebo controlled, crossover study investigating the effects of sildenafil in women with multiple sclerosis and sexual dysfunction. Assessments were done by validated questionnaires. Pudendal and tibial evoked potentials were also recorded.
Results: A total of 19 women completed the 2 arms of the double-blind phase and 12 completed the optional open label extension phase. Statistically significant improvement following sildenafil was only reported in the lubrication domain of sexual function during the double-blind phase. There was no overall change in quality of life after sildenafil. There was a significant correlation between the latency of tibial and pudendal evoked potentials.
Conclusions: Sildenafil only appeared to produce limited benefit in certain individuals with female sexual dysfunction. Some measure of the extent of neurological deficit in these patients could be ascertained from the latency of tibial evoked potentials, which correlated with pudendal evoked potentials. However, it could not predict the extent of sexual dysfunction. Sildenafil is unlikely to help all patients with neurogenic female sexual dysfunction.