2009 issue 2


Volume 25, issue 2

Review article

Selective agonist of the hypothalamic melanocortin receptors; bremelanotide as a new drug in pharmacotherapy of sexual dysfunctions

Artur Pałasz1, Marek Krzystanek2, Irena Krupka-Matuszczyk2, Marcin Kamiński1, Ryszard Wiaderkiewicz1
1. Katedra Morfologii, Zakład Histologii Śląskiego Uniwersytetu Medycznego w Katowicach
2. Katedra i Klinika Psychiatrii i Psychoterapii Śląskiego Uniwersytetu Medycznego w Katowicach
Farmakoterapia w Psychiatrii i Neurologii, 2009, 2, 101–108
Keywords: bremelanotide, melanocortins, sexual disorders, hypothalamus


Undoubtfully, the neurochemical background of human sexual desire is still one of the most interesting and sophisticated problems in psychiatry and neurology. The phenomena of sexual excitation and arousal are strictly controlled and stimulated by hypothalamic and limbic neuronal pathways including peptydergic, dopaminergic, noradrenergic and neurosecretory tracts. On the other hand, some endogenous psychoactive peptides such opioids and cannabinoids as well as classical neurotransmitter serotonin involve the inhibition of sexual desire and behaviour. The novel selective melanocortin receptor agonist bremelanotide seems to be a valuable drug in pharmacotherapy of psychosomatic dysfunctions associated with decreased sexual desire, especially in women. Nasally administered bremelanotide is the only α-melanocyte stimulating hormone (α-MSH) analogue that has been clinically studied in men and women with sexual disturbances. Clinical studies have shown it is effi cient centrally acting drug that improves erection in men and arousal and sexual satisfaction in both genders. Bremelanotide can be used in monotherapy or combined with phosphodiesterase type 5 inhibitors.

Address for correspondence:
Artur Pałasz
Katedra Morfologii, Zakład Histologii Śląskiego Uniwersytetu Medycznego w Katowicach
ul. Medyków 18, 40-752 Katowice.
tel. 032 2088377
e-mail: apalasz@slam.katowice.pl