Background: A substantial disadvantage of psychopharmacological treatment of major depressive disorder (MDD) with selective serotonin-reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) is the impact on sexual dysfunction. The aim of the present study was to investigate whether the oil of Rosa damascena can have a positive influence on SSRI-induced sexual dysfunction (SSRI-I SD) of male patients who are suffering from MDD and are being treated with SSRIs.
Method: In a double-blind, randomized, and placebo-controlled clinical trial, a total of 60 male patients treated with an SSRI and suffering from MDD (mean age =32 years) and SSRI-I SD were randomly assigned to take either verum (R. damascena oil) or a placebo. Patients completed self-ratings of depression and sexual function at baseline, at 4 weeks later, and at the end of the study, 8 weeks after it started.
Results: Over time, sexual dysfunction improved more in the verum group than in the control group. Improvements were observed in the verum group from week 4 to week 8. Self-rated symptoms of depression reduced over time in both groups, but did so more so in the verum group than in the control group.
Conclusion: This double-blind, randomized, and placebo-controlled clinical trial showed that the administration of R. damascena oil ameliorates sexual dysfunction in male patients suffering from both MDD and SSRI-I SD. Further, the symptoms of depression reduced as sexual dysfunction improved.
Keywords: Rosa damascena oil; SSRI-induced sexual dysfunction; major depressive disorder; selective serotonin-reuptake inhibitors; sexual dysfunction.