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Published on 17 November 2009

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Scientists discover female “Viagra”

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Women with lost libidos could benefit from a failed antidepressant drug dubbed the female “Viagra” by US scientists.

Clinical trials showed flibanserin, developed by Boehringer Ingleheim, was ineffective on moods but boosted the sex drive of pre-menopausal women who had previously lost interest.

Those taking a daily 100mg dose for 24 weeks said they had more “satisfactory sexual encounters”, increased sexual desire and lower stress levels connected to sex.

Four trials using different measures of sex drive found the drug caused “significant improvements” in women aged over 18.

Project leader Professor John Thorp, from the University of North Carolina, said: “Flibanserin was a poor antidepressant. However, astute observers noted that it increased libido in laboratory animals and human subjects.

“We conducted multiple clinical trials and the women in our studies who took it for hypoactive sexual desire disorder reported significant improvements in sexual desire and satisfactory sexual experiences.

“It’s essentially a Viagra-like drug for women in that diminished desire or libido is the most common feminine sexual problem, like erectile dysfunction is in men.”

Combined results from three trials testing flibanserin’s positive effect on female libido were presented at the Congress of the European Society for Sexual Medicine in France.

Copyright Press Association 2009



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