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Continuing Medical Education: The Impact of Mental Illness and Psychotropic Medications on Sexual Functioning: The Evidence and Management (CME)

Authors


Anita H. Clayton, MD, 2955 Ivy Rd, Northridge Suite 210, University of Virginia—Department of Psychiatry & Neurobehavioral Sciences, Charlottesville, VA 22903, USA. Tel: 434-243-4646; Fax: 434-243-4743; E-mail: ahc8v@virginia.edu

ABSTRACT

Background.  Sexual dysfunction (SD) occurs frequently in patients with psychiatric illness.

Methods.  The published literature on SD in patients with a psychiatric illness and/or taking psychotropic medications was reviewed.

Results.  SD prevalence and type was found to vary with the specific psychiatric illness and medication treatment. Assessment is complicated by the presence of preexisting or comorbid sexual disorders or medical illness affecting sexual function. Direct questioning about sexual function before treatment and throughout the course of therapy is essential to establish baseline sexual functioning, patient preferences regarding medication side effects, and to identify medication-associated SD. A limited number of management strategies for SD in psychiatric patients have been systematically studied.

Conclusions.  SD with psychiatric illness and its treatment requires early identification, and incorporation of patient preferences for successful management. Clayton AH, and Balon R. The Impact of mental illness and psychotropic medications on sexual functioning: The evidence and management. J Sex Med 2009;6:1200–1211.

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