Safety and Effectiveness Study of Maca Root to Treat Antidepressant-Induced Sexual Dysfunction

12:05 EDT 29th March 2015 | BioPortfolio


The purpose of this study is to determine the dose of Maca Root effective for the treatment of antidepressant-induced sexual dysfunction in patients with DSM-IV defined Major Depressive Disorder. We propose to carry out a dose-finding pilot study to determine the minimum effective dose of Maca Root. We hypothesize that patients who receive Maca Root will experience alleviation of their sexual dysfunction, and this effect will be more pronounced in those who receive higher doses of maca root.


The purpose of this study is to determine whether Maca Root is effective for the treatment of antidepressant-induced sexual dysfunction, and to further determine whether higher doses of Maca Root powder would be more effective than lower doses in reducing the symptoms of antidepressant-induced sexual dysfunction. An additional aim of the study is to document the safety and tolerability of Maca Root, which could be particularly helpful in treating antidepressant-induced sexual dysfunction in elderly and cardiac-impaired populations taking oral nitrates who may not be eligible for treatment with the current oral phosphodiesterase inhibitors.

Subjects will be randomized into two arms of 10 for this 12-week study. The study will be double blind with regard to doses received. Ten subjects will receive 1500mg/day of maca for the 12-week period and the other 10 subjects will receive 3000mg/day of maca per day for the 12-week study period. Patients will be seen every other week. There is no placebo arm.

At the final study visit, week 12, subjects will be evaluated to see if their sexual function has returned.

After careful review of the literature we have found that there are very few studies that have evaluated Maca Root in humans. However the one very relevant study completed by Gonzalez and colleagues looked at doses of 1500 and 3000mg in men and found there were increased sexual interests on both doses. Thus, since this is a dose-finding study we believe this dose is an appropriate place to begin.

Hypotheses A:

The response rate will be higher for the high-dose maca group compared to the low-dose group; and this response will be comparable to the 50-85% reported with sildenafil.

Hypothesis B:

There will be a statistically significant difference in the magnitude of response between the two testing conditions, as measured by a decrease in baseline sexual dysfunction scores. The reduction in sexual dysfunction scores will be greater in the high-dose maca group than in the low-dose maca group.

Study Design

Allocation: Randomized, Control: Dose Comparison, Intervention Model: Single Group Assignment, Masking: Double-Blind, Primary Purpose: Treatment




Maca Root


Massachusetts General Hospital
United States


Active, not recruiting


Massachusetts General Hospital

Results (where available)

View Results


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Medical and Biotech [MESH] Definitions

A plant genus of the family BRASSICACEAE growing in Peru mountains. It is the source of maca root.

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Depression in POSTPARTUM WOMEN, usually within four weeks after giving birth (PARTURITION). The degree of depression ranges from mild transient depression to neurotic or psychotic depressive disorders. (From DSM-IV, p386)

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The part of a tooth from the neck to the apex, embedded in the alveolar process and covered with cementum. A root may be single or divided into several branches, usually identified by their relative position, e.g., lingual root or buccal root. Single-rooted teeth include mandibular first and second premolars and the maxillary second premolar teeth. The maxillary first premolar has two roots in most cases. Maxillary molars have three roots. (Jablonski, Dictionary of Dentistry, 1992, p690)

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