Sexual dysfunction in dialysis patients treated with antihypertensive or antidepressive medications: results from the DOPPS

Nephrol Dial Transplant. 2007 Apr;22(4):1163-70. doi: 10.1093/ndt/gfl755. Epub 2007 Feb 1.


Background: The relationship between medication prescription and sexual dysfunction (SD) in dialysis patients is unclear.

Methods: We studied antihypertensive and antidepressive agents prescribed for 7346 patients in the Dialysis Outcomes and Practice Patterns Study phase 1 (DOPPS I) and 8891 patients in DOPPS II. At baseline, DOPPS I patients completed a quality of life survey, including four questions about sexual functioning, from which we created a composite SD scale. DOPPS II patients were asked only one question about SD. We examined predictors of SD with logistic regression, using numerous patient characteristics, comorbid conditions and additional variables.

Results: Reported SD ranged from 66.4% (France) to 84.5% (Spain). The mean composite SD score ranged from 6.4 (Spain) to 7.9 (Germany) (on a 3-15 scale). Peripheral alpha-blockers increased odds of DOPPS I patients having their sex life bothered by end-stage renal disease (ESRD) (OR=1.18), and there were elevated odds of arousal problems with central antagonists, loop diuretics and peripheral alpha-blockers (OR=1.19, 1.24 and 1.29, respectively). Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and benzodiazepines increased odds of problems with enjoyment (OR=1.59 and 1.26, respectively) and arousal (OR=1.70 and 1.24, respectively), and having sex life bothered by ESRD (DOPPS I: OR=1.36 and 1.24; DOPPS II: 1.30 and 1.31, respectively). Vasodilators reduced the odds of sexual enjoyment problems (OR=0.75). Composite SD scores worsened with peripheral alpha-blockers (+0.41), tricyclics (+0.78), SSRIs (+0.80) and benzodiazepines (+0.50), but not with vasodilators (-0.57).

Conclusions: Awareness of associations between SD and prescribed medications may offer opportunities for intervention.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adrenergic alpha-Antagonists / adverse effects
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Antidepressive Agents / adverse effects*
  • Antidepressive Agents, Tricyclic / adverse effects
  • Antihypertensive Agents / adverse effects*
  • Benzodiazepines / adverse effects
  • Female
  • France
  • Germany
  • Global Health
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / therapy*
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Quality of Life
  • Renal Dialysis*
  • Sexual Dysfunction, Physiological / chemically induced*
  • Sexual Dysfunction, Physiological / psychology
  • Spain
  • Vasodilator Agents / adverse effects


  • Adrenergic alpha-Antagonists
  • Antidepressive Agents
  • Antidepressive Agents, Tricyclic
  • Antihypertensive Agents
  • Vasodilator Agents
  • Benzodiazepines