Acupuncture has a potential role in treating the sexual side-effects of antidepressant medications, suggest researchers from Canada who carried out a pilot study. Antidepressants, including selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and serotonin noradrenaline reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs), are known to cause sexual dysfunction symptoms including impotence, loss of libido and inability to orgasm, with prevalence rates as high as 50% to 90%. Patients experiencing adverse sexual events because of their antidepressant medication received a traditional Chinese medicine assessment and followed an acupuncture treatment protocol for 12 consecutive weeks. The acupuncture points used were Taixi KID-3, Mingmen DU-4, Shenshu BL-23, Shenmen HE-7 and Neiguan P-6. Significant improvement was reported in all areas of sexual functioning among male participants, as well as in both anxiety and depressive symptoms. Female participants reported a significant improvement in libido and vaginal lubrication and a non-significant trend toward improvement in several other areas of function. (Efficacy of Acupuncture Treatment of Sexual Dysfunction Secondary to Antidepressants. J Altern Complement Med. 2013 Jun 21. doi:10.1089/acm.2012.0751 [Epub ahead of print]).

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