Pharmacopsychiatry 2003; 36 - 48
DOI: 10.1055/s-2003-825299

Ginkgo biloba in the treatment of antidepressant-induced sexual dysfunction: The results of the Swiss exploratory study in depressed patients

A Delini-Stula 1, E Holsboer-Trachsler 2
  • 1ADI International Institute, Basel
  • 2Psychiatric University Hospital, Basel, and the Ginkgo Study Group Basel*

The objective was: a) to explore the effects of Ginkgo-Extract (Symfona®) on antidepressant-induced sexual dysfunction and b) to test the utility of the new scale (ASEX) (1) for the assessment of sexual dysfunction in the practice.

In an open, multi-center study, patients (n=37) with depression (ICD-10), stabilized on antidepressants and with moderate-severe sexual problems received Ginkgo (Symfona® 240mg/day) during 8 weeks. Sexual functions were assessed by ASEX-self assessment and by a questionnaire (physician interview) at baseline, week 4 and 8. The results were analyzed descriptively.

The main effect of Ginkgo treatment was a shift from severe to mild sexual impairments, specifically reflected in the increased desire („Lust“) for sexual contacts and satisfaction with sexual life (questionnaire). A slight change of the total ASEX score was observed in female patients only (19.5±3.59 vs. 16.5±4.9).

Ginkgo treatment was well tolerated and its effects on sexual dysfunction should be further explored.

* Ginkgo Study Group Basel: U. Billeter, J. Bitzer, A. Delini-Stula, Th. Haenel, E. Holsboer-Trachsler, J. Kremo, M. Moser, R. Nuotclà, Ch. Vanoni, H.-R. Wacker, G. Waser

1. Ashton A.K. et al. (2000), Am J Psychiatry 157, 836

The study was supported by MEDICHEMIE AG