The effect of bromocriptine treatment on sexual functioning and depressive symptoms in women with mild hyperprolactinemia

Robert Krysiak, Witold Szkróbka, Bogusław Okopień
Pharmacological Reports: PR 2018, 70 (2): 227-232

BACKGROUND: Elevated prolactin levels are associated with sexual dysfunction in women. No previous study has investigated the effect of dopamine agonists on sexual functioning in women.

METHODS: The study enrolled 30 young women with mild hyperprolactinemia (serum prolactin levels in the range between 25 and 50ng/mL), 15 of whom were later treated with bromocriptine (5-10mg daily), as well as 14 age- and weight-matched healthy women. All women completed a questionnaire evaluating female sexual function (Female Sexual Function Index - FSFI) and a questionnaire evaluating the presence and severity of depressive symptoms (Beck Depression Inventory Second Edition - BDI-II).

RESULTS: Women with mild hyperprolactinemia had a lower total FSFI score, lower scores in all domains of sexual functioning (desire, arousal, lubrication, and dyspareunia), as well as a lower total BDI-II score than control women. Bromocriptine increased the FSFI score and tended to reduce BDI-II score. Moreover, the drug normalized desire, arousal, lubrication and dyspareunia, as well as improved orgasm and sexual satisfaction and this action correlated with changes in prolactin levels and an improvement in insulin sensitivity. No changes in sexual functioning and depressive symptoms were observed in untreated women with mild hyperprolactinemia and healthy controls.

CONCLUSIONS: Bromocriptine treatment improves female sexual functioning and slightly affects depressive symptoms in women with elevated prolactin levels and this effect is related to its prolactin-lowering and metabolic effects.

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