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Paxil Found to Damage DNA in Men's Sperm

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Investigators Find Paxil Effects Male Fertility

New research just released shows that the antidepressant Paxil, also known as paroxetine, has a disturbing and potentially far-reaching effect on men who are taking the drug: it damages men's sperm through DNA fragmentation, effecting fertility.

While the researchers noted that they did not study the effect of Paxil on male fertility directly, they did see a 5-fold increase in the number of men who developed abnormal sperm DNA while on the drug. The average DNA fragmentation score increased from 13.8 percent at the beginning of the study, before men were given the drug, to 30.3 percent at week 4, a statistically significant result. Worse, the percentage of men who had a 30 percent or higher fragmentation score at the beginning of the study increased dramatically from 10 to 50 percent. Also worrisome is the fact that regular semen analysis conducted throughout the study gave no indication of any detrimental effects on sperm concentration, volume or appearance.

The lead investigator, Dr. Cigdem Tanrikut, from Harvard Medical School in Boston, said earlier that the results are "troubling" and "suggests an adverse effect on fertility." Dr. Tanrikut said that abnormal sperm DNA integrity even affects pregnancy outcomes of the most advanced assisted reproductive technologies, such as in vitro fertilization (IVF).

The investigators are planning further, larger studies, based on these results.

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Published on Nov-12-08


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