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November 24th, 2009
Q&A: What happens when a Woman Takes Viagra?

Viagra was initially developed by Pfizer as a blood pressure drug. A surprise side-effect came from the prescription drug’s effect on erectile tissue, a mistake that led to the marketing of Viagra as an erectile dysfunction (ED) drug.

Many women have asked if there is a female-alternative to Viagra, or if the medication is safe to take for women. Around the world, countless women suffer from sexual dysfunction as characterized by a lack of desire, arousal or orgasm. The cause of this can often be related to the woman’s sexual partner, family concerns, stress, illness, fatigue or depression.

Early research done with Viagra and women found that the pill didn’t work, but doctors have said that this research was not selective enough in the participants.

A recent Pfizer-sponsored study of 200 women, either post-menopausal or who had undergone hysterectomies, and who suffered from sexual arousal disorders. Half of the participants were given Viagra while the other half received a placebo. Researchers reported that of the women taking Viagra, 57% reported an improved sensation in the genital area, and only 44% in the placebo group.

Researchers concluded that women’s sexual problems are far more complex than men’s and Viagra is unlikely to work at the same level of effectiveness as for men.

However, studies have concluded that Viagra helps in the regulation of Primary Pulmonary Hypertension. The drug is now being prescribed for this condition, and it is reported as being very effective.

Many drug companies are rushing to find an equivalent to hold the position as a female Viagra and the German drug manufacturer Boehringer Ingelheim has developed a pill that promises to “increase sexual desire in women with low libidos”. The drug is called flibanserin and clinical trials have shown positive results, increasing the number of “sexually satisfying events” in a study of nearly 2,000 premenopausal women.

Unfortunately, the drug won’t be hitting shelves any time soon as Boehringer needs to receive final approval from the FDA and other drug-watch associations from around the world.

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