Comparison of Sexual Function and Hormonal Parameters Between Mood Stabilizer Treatment Modalities in Bipolar Disorder
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Introduction: The aim of this study was to determine the differences between lithium and atypical antipsychotics (quetiapine and olanzapine) with regard to their effects on sexual functions and hormonal variables and to assess the findings in term of gender differences, in patients with bipolar disorder. Method: 28 female and 29 male patients diagnosed as having bipolar disorder type I according to the DSM-IV, using lithium or quetiapine and quetiapine+lithium or olanzapine and olanzapine+lithium were evaluated consecutively. Being in remission period and given informed consent were set as inclusion criteria in these cases. Interviews with the patients were carried out using the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV Axis I Disorders (SCID-I) and SKIP-TURK. Sexual functions and satisfaction were evaluated with the Arizona Sexual Experiences Scale (ASEX) and the Golombok Rust Inventory of Sexual Satisfaction (GRISS). Blood samples of the patients were taken in order to determine prolactin (PRL), follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), luteinizing hormone (LH), estradiol (E2), and free testosterone (T) levels. Results: GRISS scores in male patients were higher than in female patients (p=0.001). The number of manic, depressive and total episodes, and functionality levels were similar between the treatment groups, both in female and male patients. No differences were found between treatment modalities in terms of hormone levels both in female and male patients. Among females, ASEX scores of the patients treated with lithium monotherapy were less than the ones treated with quetiapine and olanzapine. Among patients with quetiapine monotherapy, GRISS scores in male patients were higher than in female patients. Conclusion: There are some evidences showing gender-based differences in the side effects of atypical antipsychotic drugs. Future studies with a specific focus on this topic are needed in order to have a better understanding of the basic mechanisms of gender differences.