| Free Medications
Long Term Safety and Efficacy of Ginkgo Biloba Extract in the Treatment of Anti- Depressant-Induced Sexual Dysfunction
Alan Jay Cohen, M.D.
Recent reports have described a new treatment
The experience of five patients who have used GBE for the treatment of ASD safely and effectively over 24 months is described.
Five patients treated for DSM-IV diagnosis of Depression with an SSRI (fluoxetine or sertraline) developed sexual dysfunction during the course of their treatment. The three men in the study reported anorgasmia, decreased libido, and erectile failure. The two women had anorgasmia, delayed orgasm and decreased libido. Each patient was started on a course of GBE 60 mg. (50:1 extract) twice a day. There were no contraindications for the use of GBE, such as use of anticoagulants, coagulopathy,nor allergy to GBE.
Doses were titrated to 120 mg. twice a day over a 4 week period. Patients were assessed by clinical interview and subject reporting on the following parameters: change in libido, ability to achieve orgasm, and erectile competence.
Sexual dysfunction was effectively reversed by
GBE 240 mg. per day in each patient. Each patient chose to
continue the treatment for an open ended period with clinical
monitoring of symptoms. Three patients described brief periods
of discontinuation of the GBE with a concomitant return of the
ASD. The male patients, ages 45, 42, and 38, each had a
There were no other medical conditions, nor
substance abuse problems. Adverse reactions to the GBE were
minimal and did not disrupt the treatment. Some gastro-
intestinal complaints and lightheadedness were reported. No
abnormal bleeding nor bruising occurred.
GBE has been used for centuries in traditional
Chinese medicine. It has recently been described to be
beneficial to dementia patients in a 52 week study (Lebars, et
al 1997). Cohen(1997) described its use in the treatment of
ASD. This is the first documented report of the long term
safety and efficacy of GBE in the treatment of ASD. The
ASD is a major problem in clinical practice (Gitlin
1997). Treatment compliance may suffer with resultant
morbidity and mortality. In this small series of patients GBE
appears to be a safe and effective long term remedy for ASD.
However, further controlled trials are recommended.
1. Cohen, A.(1996) "Treatment of
Antidepressant- Induced Sexual Dysfunction with Ginkgo Biloba
Extract" New Research Report from The Proceedings of The
American Psychiatric Association Annual Meeting Abstract #716
Courtesy of Alan J. Cohen M.D.
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