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Keywords:

  • Buprenorphine;
  • Male;
  • Methadone;
  • Meta-Analysis;
  • Opioid-Related Disorders;
  • Sexual Dysfunction

Abstract

Introduction

For many years, methadone has been recognized as an effective maintenance treatment for opioid dependence. However, of the many adverse events reported, sexual dysfunction is one of the most common side effects.

Aim

We conducted a meta-analysis to evaluate the prevalence of sexual dysfunction among male patients on methadone and buprenorphine treatments.

Methods

Relevant studies published from inception until December 2012 were identified by searching PubMed, OVID, and Embase. Studies were selected using prior defined criteria. Heterogeneity, publication bias, and odds ratio were assessed thoroughly.

Main Outcome Measures

To examine the prevalence and odds ratio of sexual dysfunctions among the methadone and buprenorphine groups.

Results

A total of 1,570 participants from 16 eligible studies were identified in this meta-analysis. The studies provided prevalence estimates for sexual dysfunction among methadone users with a meta-analytical pooled prevalence of 52% (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.39–0.65). Only four studies compared sexual dysfunction between the two groups, with a significantly higher combined odds ratio in the methadone group (OR = 4.01, 95% CI, 1.52–10.55, P = 0.0049).

Conclusions

Evidence showed that the prevalence of sexual dysfunction was higher among the users of methadone compared with buprenorphine. Patients with sexual difficulty while on methadone treatment were advised to switch to buprenorphine. Yee A, Loh HS, Hisham Hashim HM, and Ng CG. The prevalence of sexual dysfunction among male patients on methadone and buprenorphine treatments: A meta-analysis study. J Sex Med 2014;11:22–32.