Although, Viagra's effect in women has been disappointing, new small study finds those on antidepressants may benefit from taking the little blue pills.
The study involving 98 pre-menopausal women found Viagra helped with orgasm. Viagra increases blood flow to sex organs. However, the advantages did not extend to other aspects of sex such as desire. For women on antidepressants with orgasm problems, this may provide some wonderful relief. However, it will not improve their arousal or desire.
Antidepressants can interfere with sex drive and performance even as the drugs help lift crippling depression. Switching drugs or reducing the dose can help. However, many people, men and women, stop taking them because of their sexual side impacts. More than half the people who take antidepressants develop sexual problems, prior studies have found, especially for people taking Celexa, Paxil, Prozac and other drugs that work by increasing the chemical serotonin in the brain.
Pfizer Inc. is currently has no plans to pursue FDA approval for using its drug Viagra as a treatment for female sexual dysfunction. Yet, the company ended its internal research on Viagra for women in 2004. While Viagra was found to be safe, the results were inconclusive.
The new findings are based on an eight-week experiment. The 98 women were using antidepressants successfully but were having sexual problems. Those women average age was 37. Moreover, the women agreed to attempt sexual activity at least once each week. Each time, they took a pill, not knowing whether it was Viagra or a matching dummy pill. While 72 percent of the women taking Viagra reported improvement on an overall scale, only 27 percent of the women taking the placebo reported improvement.
According to Leonore Tiefer, a psychologist of New York University School of Medicine, such industry-funded research has oversimplified women's sexual experience. Moreover, this new study funded by a Pfizer grant, found more side effects than benefits.
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