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April 1988

Sexual Symptoms in Hypertensive Patients: A Clinical Trial of Antihypertensive Medications

Author Affiliations

From the University of Connecticut Health Center, Farmington (Drs Croog, Baume, and Clive); Boston University (Dr Levine); The Squibb Institute for Medical Research, Princeton, NJ (Dr Sudilovsky); and the Department of Psychiatry, New York University Medical Center (Dr Sudilovsky).

Arch Intern Med. 1988;148(4):788-794. doi:10.1001/archinte.1988.00380040028006

• The effects of captopril, methyldopa, and propranolol hydrochloride on reported distress over sexual symptoms over a 24-week treatment period were examined as part of a multicenter, randomized, double-blind clinical trial in which 626 men with mild to moderate hypertension participated. On entry into the clinical trial, 58% of patients taking antihy pertensive medications and 44% of men not receiving antihypertensive drugs reported distress over one or more sexual symptoms. Among 304 patients treated with monotherapy who completed the trial, total symptoms distress scores of treatment groups did not differ from each other in change from baseline to week 24, but in particular, problems of maintaining an erection were significantly worsened with propranolol therapy. Among 177 patients treated with monotherapy plus a diuretic, total sexual symptoms distress scores worsened among the groups taking methyldopa or propranolol, with significant worsening in all individual symptoms among patients taking propranolol, and problems in maintaining an erection and in ejaculation among patients receiving methyldopa. Among patients treated with captopril plus a diuretic, no change from baseline appeared in scores for any of the sexual symptoms. The findings underline the importance of taking an adequate sexual history and document that selection of antihypertensive drugs may significantly affect the incidence of sexual symptoms.

(Arch Intern Med 1988;148:788-794)