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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2015 (2015), Article ID 949036, 9 pages
Research Article

A Double-Blind Placebo-Controlled Trial of Maca Root as Treatment for Antidepressant-Induced Sexual Dysfunction in Women

1Depression Clinical and Research Program, Department of Psychiatry, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA 02114, USA
2Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Emory University, Atlanta, GA 30322, USA

Received 17 December 2014; Revised 11 March 2015; Accepted 23 March 2015

Academic Editor: Sonia Piacente

Copyright © 2015 Christina M. Dording et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Objective. We sought to demonstrate that maca root may be an effective treatment for antidepressant-induced sexual dysfunction (AISD) in women. Method. We conducted a 12-week, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of maca root (3.0 g/day) in 45 female outpatients (mean age of 41.5 ± 12.5 years) with SSRI/SNRI-induced sexual dysfunction whose depression remitted. Endpoints were improvement in sexual functioning as per the Arizona Sexual Experience Scale (ASEX) and the Massachusetts General Hospital Sexual Function Questionnaire (MGH-SFQ). Results. 45 of 57 consented females were randomized, and 42 (30 premenopausal and 12 postmenopausal women) were eligible for a modified intent-to-treat analysis based on having had at least one postmedication visit. Remission rates by the end of treatment were higher for the maca than the placebo group, based on attainment of an ASEX total score ≤ 10 (9.5% for maca versus 4.8% for placebo), attaining an MGH-SFQ score ≤ 12 (30.0% for maca versus 20.0% for placebo) and reaching an MGH-SFQ score ≤ 8 (9.5% for maca versus 5.0% for placebo). Higher remission rates for the maca versus placebo group were associated with postmenopausal status. Maca was well tolerated. Conclusion. Maca root may alleviate SSRI-induced sexual dysfunction in postmenopausal women. This trial is registered with NCT00568126.