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Priapism associated with typical and atypical antipsychotic medications

Wang, Chien-Shua; Kao, Wei-Tsunga; Chen, Chian-Dara; Tung, Yu-Pingb; Lung, For-Weya c

International Clinical Psychopharmacology: July 2006 - Volume 21 - Issue 4 - p 245-248

Priapism is a urologic emergency, and a urologic consultation should be obtained as early as possible. Its etiologies are numerous and diverse. Patients who use antipsychotic drugs should be informed about the complications of priapism, especially those patients with a history of prolonged erections associated with other α-adrenergic blocking agents or a history of sickle cell disease. If antipsychotic medication is considered to be needed in the treatment of patients with a history of priapism, physicians should select a drug with a low peripheral α-adrenergic blocking property. Physicians should be aware of this rare but potentially serious complication of antipsychotic drugs. Early intervention and appropriate treatment are essential to prevent permanent impotence and other serious complications.

Departments of aPsychiatry

bUrology, Military Kaohsiung General Hospital

cInstitute of Behavioural Science, Kaohsiung Medical University, Kaohsiung, Taiwan

Correspondence and requests for reprints to Dr For-Wey Lung, Department of Psychiatry, Military Kaohsiung General Hospital, 2 Chung Cheng 1st Road, Kaohsiung 802, Taiwan

Tel: +886 7 7490056; fax: +886 7 7498706;


Received 14 October 2005 Accepted 31 January 2006

© 2006 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.