Efficacy of Acupuncture Treatment of Sexual Dysfunction Secondary to Antidepressants | CCNM

Efficacy of Acupuncture Treatment of Sexual Dysfunction Secondary to Antidepressants

You are here

BACKGROUND: Antidepressants including selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and serotonin noradrenaline reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) are known to cause secondary sexual dysfunction with prevalence rates as high as 50%–90%. Emerging research is establishing that acupuncture may be an effective treatment modality for sexual dysfunction including impotence, loss of libido, and an inability to orgasm. OBJECTIVES: The purpose of this study was to examine the potential benefits of acupuncture in the management of sexual dysfunction secondary to SSRIs and SNRIs. SUBJECTS: Practitioners at the START Clinic referred participants experiencing adverse sexual events from their antidepressant medication for acupuncture treatment at the Mood and Anxiety Disorders, a tertiary care mood and anxiety disorder clinic in Toronto. DESIGN: Participants received a Traditional Chinese Medicine assessment and followed an acupuncture protocol for 12 consecutive weeks. The acupuncture points used were Kidney 3, Governing Vessel 4, Urinary Bladder 23, with Heart 7 and Pericardium 6. Participants also completed a questionnaire package on a weekly basis. OUTCOMES MEASURED: The questionnaire package consisted of self-report measures assessing symptoms of depression, anxiety, and various aspects of sexual function. RESULTS: Significant improvement among male participants was noted in all areas of sexual functioning, as well as in both anxiety and depressive symptoms. Female participants reported a significant improvement in libido and lubrication and a nonsignificant trend toward improvement in several other areas of function. CONCLUSIONS: This study suggests a potential role for acupuncture in the treatment of the sexual side-effects of SSRIs and SNRIs as well as a potential benefit of integrating medical and complementary and alternative practitioners.
Title of abstract: 
Efficacy of Acupuncture Treatment of Sexual Dysfunction Secondary to Antidepressants
Khamba B, Aucoin M, Lytle M, Vermani M, Maldanado A, Iorio C, Cameron C, Tsirgielis D, D'Ambrosio C, Anand L, Katzman M
START Clinic for Mood and Anxiety Disorders, The Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine, Department of Psychology Lakehead University, University of Toronto, The Northern Ontario School of Medicine, Adler Graduate Professional School
Monday, December 31, 2012
The Journal of Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 2013, 19, (11): 862–869

CCNM logo


Talk to a student services advisor today by emailing info@ccnm.edu

Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine

Educating naturopathic doctors in North America for over 40 years

1255 Sheppard Avenue East, Toronto, Ontario M2K 1E2

College: (416) 498-1255 I 1 (866) 241-2266 (toll-free)

Clinic: (416) 498-9763

Member of the Association of
Accredited Naturopathic Medical Colleges