Rosa Damascena oil improved sexual function and testosterone in male patients with opium use disorder under methadone maintenance therapy-results from a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trial

Drug Alcohol Depend. 2017 Jul 1:176:117-125. doi: 10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2017.02.008. Epub 2017 Apr 6.


Background: Some patients with opioid use disorder (OUD) are treated with methadone maintenance therapy (MMT). However, as with opioids, methadone has major side-effects; sexual dysfunction is a particularly distressing such effect. Rosa Damascena oil has been shown to reduce subjective sexual dysfunction in patients with major depressive disorders, but its influence on testosterone has not so far been tested. The aim of the present study was to investigate the influence of Rosa Damascena oil on sexual dysfunction and testosterone levels among male patients with OUD and undergoing MMT.

Methods: A total of 50 male patients (mean age: 40 years) diagnosed with OUD and receiving MMT were randomly assigned either to the Rosa Damascena oil (drops) or a placebo condition. At baseline, and four and eight weeks later, patients completed questionnaires covering sexual and erectile function. Blood samples to assess testosterone levels were taken at baseline and eight weeks later on completion of the study.

Results: Over time sexual dysfunction decreased, and testosterone increased in the Rosa Damascena oil, but not in the placebo condition. Sexual dysfunction scores and testosterone levels were not consistently related.

Conclusions: Results from this double-blind, randomized, and placebo-controlled clinical trial showed that Rosa Damascena oil improved sexual function and testosterone levels among males with OUD and undergoing MMT.

Keywords: Methadone maintenance therapy; Opium and opioid use disorder; Rosa Damascena oil; Sexual dysfunction.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Methadone / adverse effects*
  • Opiate Substitution Treatment / adverse effects*
  • Opium Dependence / drug therapy
  • Phytotherapy / methods*
  • Plant Oils / therapeutic use*
  • Rosa / chemistry*
  • Sexual Behavior / drug effects
  • Sexual Dysfunctions, Psychological / blood
  • Sexual Dysfunctions, Psychological / chemically induced
  • Sexual Dysfunctions, Psychological / drug therapy*
  • Testosterone / blood


  • Plant Oils
  • Testosterone
  • Methadone