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Friday 19 May 2006

A naturalistic, 9-month follow-up, comparing olanzapine and conventional antipsychotics on sexual function and hormonal profile for males with schizophrenia.

By: Costa AM, de Lima MS, Faria M, Rodrigues Filho S, De Oliveira IR, Mari JD.

J Psychopharmacol 2006 May 19; [Epub ahead of print]

Second generation antipsychotics have less influence on prolactin levels than conventional antipsychotics (CA), which are commonly associated with sexual dysfunction and hyperprolactinaemia. However, only a few studies have been conducted assessing these newer antipsychotics and sexual function/dysfunction. The aim of this study is to evaluate the sexual function and hormonal profile of male schizophrenic patients taking olanzapine or CA. Sixty-three inpatients with acute episodes of schizophrenia were randomly assigned to take either olanzapine, or go on conventional antipsychotic treatment. The Dickson-Glazer sexual functioning questionnaire was used to assess sexual functioning where serum prolactin, luteinizing hormone, follicle-stimulating hormone, total testosterone, free testosterone, and sex hormone-binding globulin concentrations were measured. All measurements were taken on discharge from the inpatient unit (baseline), and again at 3 and 9 months after discharge. Prolactin levels in the olanzapine group decreased more rapidly and were significantly lower than in the CA group after 3 months (12.1 +/- 6.3 microg/l, p = 0.01; 18.1 +/- 11.2 microg/l, p = 0.564, respectively). After nine months, there was a tendency toward normal levels in both groups, and the frequency of sexual complaints did not differ between the groups. This study showed no difference between olanzapine and conventional antipsychotics regarding sexual complaints in the treatment of schizophrenia, but did show a difference in the hormone level normalization rate.

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