Major depression is frequently associated with sexual dysfunctions. Most antidepressants, especially selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), induce additional sexual side effects and, although effective antidepressants, deteriorate sexual symptoms, which are the main reason that patients stop antidepressant treatment. Many strategies have been used to circumvent the additional sexual side effects, but results are rather disappointing. Recently, new antidepressants have been introduced, vilazodone and vortioxetine, which seem to lack sexual side effects in the early registration trials. Much research with large numbers of depressed patients and adequate methodological tools still has to confirm in daily use the absence of sexual side effects of new antidepressants. Animal models that in an early phase of drug development may predict putative sexual side effects of new antidepressants are extremely useful and could speed up development of new antidepressants. A rat model of sexual behavior is described that has a very high predictive validity for sexual side effects in man. Several characteristics of present antidepressants with regard to sexual dysfunctions are also present in the rat model and establish its validity. The animal model can also be used in the search for new psychotropics without sexual side effects or for drugs with sexual stimulating activity.
Part of the book: Sexual Dysfunction
Maternal vulnerability to adversity has long-term impact on the developing child. About 20% of the pregnant women suffer from affective disorders. Fetal exposure to maternal adversity may lead to detrimental consequences later in life. Maternal affective disorders are increasingly treated with antidepressants, especially selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). However, the long-term consequences for the offspring after exposure to this medication are unclear. The interplay between maternal adversity and SSRI treatment has been under investigation and here we discuss how maternal adversity and SSRIs are able to shape offspring development. Specifically, we will discuss animal models addressing behavioral outcomes to understand how the prenatal environment influences the health of the developing child across the life span.
Part of the book: Antidepressants