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Ginkgo biloba

Ginkgo relieves sexual dysfunction caused by antidepressants

Patients taking prescription antidepressants often experience unwanted sexual side effects. In this open clinical trial, researchers treated 33 women and 30 men experiencing this problem with 80 to 120 mg of ginkgo extract per day. All patients continued taking their usual antidepressant medication during the trial. (Most were using SSRI-type drugs such as fluoxetine or sertraline.) At the end of the four-week trial, results were assessed through clinical interviews and patient self-reports. Ginkgo treatment was reported to be effective for 91 percent of female patients and 76 percent of males. All of the patients for whom ginkgo was effective expressed interest in continuing the herbal treatment. The authors mention possible mechanisms of action to explain ginkgo's observed effect and call for future double-blind studies on the topic. Cohen AJ, Bartlik B. Ginkgo biloba for antidepressant-induced sexual dysfunction. Journal of Sex and Marital Therapy 1998; 24:139-143.

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