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Viagra and Women

Not long after Viagra (sildenafil) was approved for men in March, 1998, the question was raised, "Will the drug also help women?" The first paper to address this issue in the peer-reviewed medical literature (Kaplan SA et al, Urology 1999 Mar ; 53(3):481-6), implied that it would not. This early work was criticized because it was not a placebo-controlled trial, and only post-menopausal women were examined.

However, a presentation May 23 at the annual meeting of the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology indicates that the early work was correct. According to a Reuters report, neither pre- nor peri-menopausal women with sexual dysfunction were benefitted by the drug. In fact, at every dosage level (10, 50, 100 mg), the placebo-treated women had more improvement than the drug-treated women. Patients in the 3-month study were 577 women, ages 18 - 55 y.o., studied prospectively in a multi-center trial sponsored by the drug maker, Pfizer. The study was conducted in centers in Europe, Australia, and Canada
May 24, 2000
 

Half of the women studied had sexual arousal disorder as their primary complaint. Other diagnoses in the cohort included desire disorder, female orgasmic disorder, hypoactive sexual desire disorder and dyspareunia. Side effects of the drug (particularly headache and facial flushing) were several times commoner in women than in men.

On the other hand, some benefit for post-menopausal women was reported by Jennifer Berman and colleagues at the annual meeting of the American Urological Association in early May.

And in the current Newsweek Magazine, female sexual dysfunction is the cover story.

 


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