Ginkgo relieves sexual dysfunction
caused by antidepressants
Patients taking prescription antidepressants
often experience unwanted sexual side effects. In this open clinical
trial, researchers treated 33 women and 30 men experiencing this
problem with 80 to 120 mg of ginkgo extract per day. All patients
continued taking their usual antidepressant medication during
the trial. (Most were using SSRI-type drugs such as fluoxetine
or sertraline.) At the end of the four-week trial, results were
assessed through clinical interviews and patient self-reports.
Ginkgo treatment was reported to be effective for 91 percent of
female patients and 76 percent of males. All of the patients for
whom ginkgo was effective expressed interest in continuing the
herbal treatment. The authors mention possible mechanisms of action
to explain ginkgo's observed effect and call for future double-blind
studies on the topic. Cohen AJ, Bartlik B. Ginkgo biloba for
antidepressant-induced sexual dysfunction. Journal of Sex and
Marital Therapy 1998; 24:139-143.
© 2003 by Herb Research Foundation,
Boulder, CO, USA.