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UNLABELLED: The present double-blind, placebo-controlled study evaluates the effects of agomelatine and the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor escitalopram on sexual dysfunction in healthy men and women. METHODS: A total of 133 healthy volunteers (67 men, 66 women) were randomly assigned to agomelatine (25 or 50 mg) or escitalopram (20 mg) or placebo for nine weeks. Sexual acceptability was evaluated by using the psychotropic-related sexual dysfunction questionnaire 5-items total score and sexual dysfunction relative to each sub-score (in 110 volunteers with sexual activity). Sexual dysfunction was evaluated at baseline and after two, five and eight weeks of treatment and one week after drug discontinuation. RESULTS: The psychotropic-related sexual dysfunction questionnaire 5-items total score was significantly lower in both agomelatine groups versus escitalopram at all visits (p < 0.01 to p < 0.0001) with no difference between agomelatine and placebo nor between both agomelatine doses. Similar results were observed after drug discontinuation. The total score was significantly higher in the escitalopram group than in the placebo group at each post-baseline visit (p < 0.01 to p < 0.001). Similar results were observed regardless of volunteers' gender. Compared to placebo, only escitalopram significantly impaired dysfunction relative to "delayed orgasm or ejaculation" (p < 0.01) and "absence of orgasm or ejaculation" (p < 0.05 to p < 0.01). The percentage of participants with a sexual dysfunction was higher in the escitalopram group than in agomelatine groups (p < 0.01 to p < 0.05) and placebo (p < 0.01). CONCLUSION: The study confirms the better sexual acceptability profile of agomelatine (25 or 50 mg) in healthy men and women, compared to escitalopram. TRIAL REGISTRATION NAME: Evaluation of the effect of agomelatine and escitalopram on emotions and motivation in healthy male and female volunteers. TRIAL REGISTRATION NUMBER: ISRCTN75872983.

Original publication




Journal article


J Psychopharmacol

Publication Date





1119 - 1128


Sexual dysfunction, agomelatine, antidepressant, escitalopram, healthy volunteers, tolerability, Acetamides, Adult, Citalopram, Double-Blind Method, Emotions, Female, Healthy Volunteers, Humans, Hypnotics and Sedatives, Male, Psychiatric Status Rating Scales, Serotonin Uptake Inhibitors, Sexual Dysfunctions, Psychological, Surveys and Questionnaires, Young Adult