Sexual side-effects are common with various types of psychotropic medications, especially antidepressants and anti-psychotic agents. Such sideeffects not only affect quality of life, they are also relevant to drug compliance, of particular importance in the long-term treatment of psychotic illnesses like schizophrenia. There is however, considerable individual variability in the pattern and severity of such side-effects, raising the question of whether genetic factors may be relevant. Pharmacogenetic research on sexual dysfunctions could be productive in answering several important questions: How much positive predictive power could genetic information provide in forecasting sexual sideeffects? What particular neurotransmitter receptors or transporters are related to such sexual side-effects? How can this line of research be used to help answer basic questions about the neurobiology of sexual dysfunction? Unfortunately, none of these questions can be answered as of yet. Most pharmacogenetic investigations have focused on predicting primary outcomes; recent studies have started to focus on side-effects, but so far sexual side-effects have either not been considered or not distinguished from other types of side-effects. This chapter will focus on possible candidates for pharmacogenetic investigations of sexual side-effects, especially in relation to antidepressant and anti-psychotic drugs.
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