Sexual dysfunction (SD) is one of the most common complications of multiple sclerosis (MS). The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of bupropion on SD among female patients with MS.
This double-blind placebo-control randomized clinical trial was conducted on MS patients with SD complaint. Diagnosis was based on the secondary SD subscale scores of the Multiple Sclerosis Intimacy and Sexuality Questionnaire-19 (MSISQ-19). Accordingly, individuals scoring above 27 based on this scale were diagnosed with SD. The subjects were randomly assigned to the bupropion and placebo groups. Bupropion was administered 75 mg twice daily for twelve weeks. As for the study outcomes, besides MSISQ-19, quality of life (Multiple Sclerosis Quality Of Life-54 (MSQOL-54)), fatigue (Multidimensional Fatigue Inventory (MFI)), depression and anxiety (Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale), and bupropion tolerability were assessed at baseline as well as at weeks 6 and 12.
From 84 patients who met the inclusion criteria, 64 patients completed the trial and were analyzed. Demographics and baseline clinical characteristics were not significantly differed between the two groups. The results showed the mean score of MSISQ-19 from baseline to the end of the study period significantly improved in the bupropion group compared with the placebo (week 6: P: 0.03; week 12: P: 0.03). Similarly, MFI scores showed significant improvement in the bupropion group compared with the placebo group (P: 0.001). Both anxiety and depression scores showed significant alterations at study interval between the two groups (Anxiety: weeks 6 and 12: P:0.04; depression: week 6: 0.01, week 12: 0.02). However, there was no significant change in the MSQOL-54 score between the two groups.
The results of the study substantiated that bupropion can be an effective agent for SD improvement in female patients with MS. Further clinical trials with larger sample sizes can more accurately evaluate the observed findings.