Treatment with paroxetine (Paxil), which belongs to the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) class of antidepressant drugs, increases DNA fragmentation in sperm, according to research presented today at the 64th annual meeting of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine in San Francisco.
Although the study did not directly evaluate male fertility, the five-fold increase in the number of men who developed abnormal sperm DNA while being treated with paroxetine is "troubling" and "suggests an adverse effect on fertility," co-investigator Dr. Cigdem Tanrikut, from Harvard Medical School in Boston, told Reuters Health.
In a clinical trial she described as "the first study to assess the impact of an SSRI on semen parameters in healthy men," 35 men took paroxetine for 5 weeks. The drug was administered in once-daily doses of 10 mg the first week, 20 mg in the second week, 30 mg the third and fourth week, and 20 mg in the fifth week.
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