Antidepressants May Become Women's New Viagra

Nov 19, 2009
Drug, which was initially made to treat depression, proved to be effective in boosting sexual desire in women, a new study shows.

John Thorp, a professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine and the leading researcher of the study analyzed the effectiveness of the drug flibanserin in treatment of hypoactive sexual desire disorder.

The trials held in the United States, Europe and Canada have shown that flibanserin works at the level of the brain, increasing low sexual desire in women. The study included 1,946 pre-menopausal women aged 18 and over, who were divided into two groups to receive either the flibanserin drug or placebo for 24 weeks. The participants were given the drug in four dosing regimen, ranging from 25 milligrams twice a day to100 milligrams a day.

The results of the study showed that 100 mg of flibanserin a day was effective in treatment of low libido. Women, taking flibanserin during trials, reported about significant improvement in the number of satisfying sexual encounters, overall sexual desire and sexual functioning. Though the antidepressant drug failed to treat depression symptoms, it considerably improved women's libido, scientists say.

Thorp said that flibanserin is a Viagra-like drug for women, who deal with low libido, which is the most common female sexual dysfunction like erectile dysfunction for men.  

According to the previous studies up to 26 percent of women have low sexual desire disorder in the US. Nowadays, flibanserin is only available for clinical trials, but the drug shows promise in pharmacologic treatment of the women's sexual problems.

The results of the study were presented, at the Congress of the European Society for Sexual Medicine in Lyon, France.