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Substance-Induced Sexual Dysfunction

Substance-induced sexual dysfunction is a clinically significant disturbance in sexual function that develops in response to exposure to or withdrawal from a medication or substance. Many drugs have unwanted effects on sexual desire, arousal, orgasm, or other aspects of sexual well-being. Sexual side effects can range from mild and transient to severe and lasting. When sexual side effects are significant (experienced in at least 25% of sexual events) and distressing, they are termed substance-induced sexual dysfunction according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition.

Sexual well-being depends on interactions between multiple neurotransmitters and hormones, including those targeted by many medications. Patients treated with psychoactive medications will often experience some change in sexual function (e.g., antidepressants, 26%–80%; antipsychotics, 16%–60%); of these, a small ...

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