The Use of Pramipexole to Treat Persistent Genital Arousal Disorder: A Case Report

Becky Kaufman Lynn, Chloe Grabenhorst, Barry R. Komisaruk, Irwin Goldstein, Jim Pfaus

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: Persistent Genital Arousal Disorder (PGAD) is defined as “spontaneous, intrusive, and unwanted genital arousal (tingling, throbbing, pulsating) in the absence of sexual interest and desire” and traditionally causes marked distress, embarrassment and shame. PGAD may be caused by starting, discontinuing, or making adjustments in certain antidepressants or other medications. Aim: To report the case of a 36- year- old woman with PGAD, likely due to changes in her psychiatric medications, who was treated with pramipexole and experienced improvement in her PGAD symptoms. Methods: Patient self-report and literature review. Written informed consent was obtained from the patient. Main Outcome Measure: Improvement in PGAD symptoms. Results: Patient reported improvement in her symptoms by “90%” on a low dose of pramipexole, although higher doses exacerbated her symptoms. Conclusions: It is likely that an effective treatment window exists for the treatment of PGAD with drugs that possess the ability to exert their control of dopaminergic transmission. This includes direct acting receptor agonists like pramipexole, which produce feedback inhibition. Limitations to their efficacy then involve co-treatments that counteract their ability to exert a dampening effect on hyperstimulated dopamine transmission. It is recommended that clinicians be aware of drugs taken by patients to treat psychiatric disorders that could induce PGAD symptoms, drugs recently discontinued where a rebound effect could lead to PGAD symptoms, and drug mechanisms that could counteract the effect of treatments for PGAD. Lynn BK, Grabenhorst C, Komisaruk BR, et al. The Use of Pramipexole to Treat Persistent Genital Arousal Disorder: A Case Report. Sex Med 2021;XX:XXXXXX.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number100372
JournalSexual Medicine
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Dermatology
  • Urology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


  • Persistent genital arousal disorder, Restless genital syndrome, Pramipexole, Dopamine


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