Adverse effects of drug therapies on male and female sexual function

World J Urol. 2006 Dec;24(6):623-9. doi: 10.1007/s00345-006-0136-5.


Sexual dysfunctions (SD) are adverse effects of common drug therapies that have rarely been considered in investigations so far. Possibly it is barely known that many widespread and frequently prescribed medications and drug therapies can have significant impact on vascular and nerval processes as well as on endocrinologic and psychoneuroendocrinologic systems and therefore can influence sexual functions. Impotence and disorders of the erectile function can mainly be caused by antidopaminergic mechanisms, whereas ejaculatory disorders and anorgasmia often can be explained by antiserotoninergic effects. Anticholinergic and adrenoloytic agents can also cause a particular impairment of erectile functions. The following considerations will show that the detection and treatment of SD (also in women!) should be given much more attention since drug-induced SDs occur predominantly in indications where a SD itself can be a symptom of the disease.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Drug-Related Side Effects and Adverse Reactions*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Sexual Dysfunction, Physiological / chemically induced*