Efficacy and safety of on-demand use of 2 treatments designed for different etiologies of female sexual interest/arousal disorder: 3 Randomized Clinical Trials

Tuiten, A., van Rooij, K., Bloemers, J., Eisenegger, C., van Honk, J., Kessels, R., Kingsberg, S., Derogatis, L. R., de Leede, L., Gerritsen, J., Koppeschaar, H. P. F., Olivier, B., Everaerd, W., Frijlink, H. W., Höhle, D., de Lange, R. P. J., Böcker, K. B. E. & Pfaus, J. G., 1-Feb-2018, In : Journal of Sexual Medicine. 15, 2, p. 201-216 16 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

  • Adriaan Tuiten
  • Kim van Rooij
  • Jos Bloemers
  • Christoph Eisenegger
  • Jack van Honk
  • Rob Kessels
  • Sheryl Kingsberg
  • Leonard R. Derogatis
  • Leo de Leede
  • Jeroen Gerritsen
  • Hans P.F. Koppeschaar
  • Berend Olivier
  • Walter Everaerd
  • Henderik W. Frijlink
  • Daniël Höhle
  • Robert P.J. de Lange
  • Koen B.E. Böcker
  • James G. Pfaus
Background In women, low sexual desire and/or sexual arousal can lead to sexual dissatisfaction and emotional distress, collectively defined as female sexual interest/arousal disorder (FSIAD). Few pharmaceutical treatment options are currently available. Aim To investigate the efficacy and safety of 2 novel on-demand pharmacologic treatments that have been designed to treat 2 FSIAD subgroups (women with low sensitivity for sexual cues and women with dysfunctional over-activation of sexual inhibition) using a personalized medicine approach using an allocation formula based on genetic, hormonal, and psychological variables developed to predict drug efficacy in the subgroups. Methods 497 women (21–70 years old) with FSIAD were randomized to 1 of 12 8-week treatment regimens in 3 double-blinded, randomized, placebo-controlled, dose-finding studies conducted at 16 research sites in the United States. Efficacy and safety of the following on-demand treatments was tested: placebo, testosterone (T; 0.5 mg), sildenafil (S; 50 mg), buspirone (B; 10 mg) and combination therapies (T 0.25 mg + S 25 mg, T 0.25 mg + S 50 mg, T 0.5 mg + S 25 mg, T 0.5 mg + S 50 mg, and T 0.25 mg + B 5 mg, T 0.25 mg + B 10 mg, T 0.5 mg + B 5 mg, T 0.5 mg + B 10 mg). Outcomes The primary efficacy measure was the change in satisfying sexual events (SSEs) from the 4-week baseline to the 4-week average of the 8-week active treatment period after medication intake. For the primary end points, the combination treatments were compared with placebo and the respective monotherapies on this measure. Results In women with low sensitivity for sexual cues, 0.5 mg T + 50 mg S increased the number of SSEs from baseline compared with placebo (difference in change [Δ] = 1.70, 95% CI = 0.57–2.84, P =.004) and monotherapies (S: Δ = 1.95, 95% CI = 0.44–3.45, P =.012; T: Δ = 1.69, 95% CI = 0.58–2.80, P =.003). In women with overactive inhibition, 0.5 mg T + 10 mg B increased the number of SSEs from baseline compared with placebo (Δ = 0.99, 95% CI = 0.17–1.82, P =.019) and monotherapies (B: Δ = 1.52, 95% CI = 0.57–2.46, P =.002; T: Δ = 0.98, 95% CI = 0.17–1.78, P =.018). Secondary end points followed this pattern of results. The most common drug-related side effects were flushing (T + S treatment, 3%; T + B treatment, 2%), headache (placebo treatment, 2%; T + S treatment, 9%), dizziness (T + B treatment, 3%), and nausea (T + S treatment, 3%; T + B treatment, 2%). Clinical Implications T + S and T + B are promising treatments for women with FSIAD. Strengths and Limitations The data were collected in 3 well-designed randomized clinical trials that tested multiple doses in a substantial number of women. The influence of T + S and T + B on distress and the potentially sustained improvements after medication cessation were not investigated. Conclusions T + S and T + B are well tolerated and safe and significantly increase the number of SSEs in different FSIAD subgroups. Tuiten A, van Rooij K, Bloemers J, et al. Efficacy and Safety of On-Demand Use of 2 Treatments Designed for Different Etiologies of Female Sexual Interest/Arousal Disorder: 3 Randomized Clinical Trials. J Sex Med 2018;15:201–216.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)201-216
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Sexual Medicine
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1-Feb-2018


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