Methadone maintenance and male sexual dysfunction

Randy Brown*, Stacey Balousek, Marlon Mundt, Michael Fleming

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

74 Scopus citations


Purpose. This study reports the prevalence and types of sexual dysfunction in a sample of men on methadone maintenance for opioid dependence, and describes factors which may contribute to sexual dysfunction. Methods. Ninety-two opioid-dependent men were recruited from a methadone maintenance clinic and completed two questionnaires, a research interview and laboratory measures. Results. Fourteen percent reported some sexual dysfunction. Erectile dysfunction (r = 0.24, p = 0.020), libido dysfunction (r = 0.30, p = 0.003), and global dysfunction (r = 0.26, p = 0.013) increased with increasing age of the patient. Methadone dose showed a significant direct correlation with increased orgasm dysfunction, both before and after adjusting for duration of treatment (p = 0.012). None of the sexual dysfunction subscales or global dysfunction were associated with plasma testosterone or plasma prolactin levels. Conclusions. The rate of global sexual dysfunction in methadone-treated men is similar to general population studies and should be evaluated using general population guidelines. Orgasm dysfunction is a special case and may respond to methadone dose reduction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)91-106
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Addictive Diseases
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 13 2005


  • Adverse effects
  • Methadone
  • Narcotics
  • Prevalence
  • Psychological
  • Sex disorders
  • Sexual dysfunction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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