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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Effect of valsartan and atenolol on sexual behavior in hypertensive postmenopausal women.

BACKGROUND: The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of valsartan compared with atenolol on sexual behavior in hypertensive postmenopausal women. METHODS: A total of 120 postmenopausal women, aged 51 to 55 years, with mild to moderate hypertension (diastolic blood pressure [DBP] >/=95 and </=105 mm Hg) were enrolled. After a 4-week placebo period they were randomized to treatment with valsartan 80 mg (n = 60) or atenolol 50 mg (n = 60) once daily for 16 weeks, according to a parallel arm design. After 4 weeks of treatment the nonresponder patients (DBP >90 mm Hg) were given a double dose of each drug. Patients were checked at the end of the placebo period and every 4 weeks thereafter. At each visit, sitting blood pressure (BP) was measured by mercury sphygmomanometer (Korotkoff I and V). At baseline and after 16 weeks of treatment, patients were given a questionnaire that comprised 10 self-evaluations of various aspects of sexual desire, orgasmic response, and coital activity. The questions were presented in the form of a visual analog scale. RESULTS: Both drugs significantly lowered BP without any difference between the two treatments. In the valsartan-treated women, the scores for three of the items related to libido significantly improved: sexual desire (+38%, P <.01), changes in behavior (+45%, P <.001), and sexual fantasies (+51%, P <.001) In contrast, in the atenolol-treated group the scores for the items "sexual desire" and "sexual fantasies" significantly worsened (-18%, P <.01 and -23%, P <.001, respectively). CONCLUSIONS: These results suggest that in postmenopausal, sexually active hypertensive women, valsartan treatment improved sexual function at least in some respects, whereas atenolol worsened it. This may be relevant for quality of life in these patients and their compliance with antihypertensive therapy.[1]


  1. Effect of valsartan and atenolol on sexual behavior in hypertensive postmenopausal women. Fogari, R., Preti, P., Zoppi, A., Corradi, L., Pasotti, C., Rinaldi, A., Mugellini, A. Am. J. Hypertens. (2004) [Pubmed]
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