Sexual dysfunction in patients with schizophrenia on antipsychotic medication

Eur Psychiatry. 2007 Jul;22(5):328-33. doi: 10.1016/j.eurpsy.2007.01.001. Epub 2007 Mar 6.


Objective: The objective of this study was to determine the prevalence of sexual dysfunction in patients with schizophrenia under antipsychotic therapy and to investigate the effect of various parameters on sexual dysfunction.

Method: A total of 827 stabilized outpatients who met DSM-IV criteria for schizophrenia, were recruited in the study. Arizona Sexual Experience Scale (ASEX) and the subscale on sexual function of the UKU Side Effects Rating Scale were applied at a single interview.

Results: In total, 52.6% of the patients had sexual dysfunction, 54.2% reported a low sexual desire and 41.7% reported problems in having an orgasm. Erectile dysfunction and ejaculation problems were seen in 48.1% and 64.2% of the men, respectively; amenorrhea was seen in 24.9% of the women. ASEX score and severity of disease were found to be correlated (p=0.02). Higher ASEX scores were observed in patients who smoked (p=0.01). Men receiving atypical monotherapy had lower ASEX scores than those receiving a combination of atypical and conventional antipsychotics (p=0.017). Patients on combination therapy had more ejaculation problems than the atypical group (p=0.001). Low sexual desire was more prevalent among women using conventional drugs than those on atypical drugs (p=0.004). In linear regression analyses, ASEX was affected significantly and independently by the severity of the disease only in men (p=0.005).

Conclusion: Our results show that sexual dysfunction is widespread among patients with schizophrenia on antipsychotic medications.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Antipsychotic Agents / adverse effects*
  • Antipsychotic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Drug Therapy, Combination
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Schizophrenia / drug therapy*
  • Schizophrenia / epidemiology
  • Sexual Dysfunction, Physiological / chemically induced*
  • Sexual Dysfunction, Physiological / epidemiology
  • Smoking / adverse effects
  • Smoking / epidemiology
  • Turkey


  • Antipsychotic Agents