July 23, 2008

Study: Viagra Can Help Some Women, Too

Women with sexual dysfunction caused by antidepressants experienced a reduction in adverse sexual effects after using Viagra, U.S. researchers said.

Dr. H. George Nurnberg of the University of New Mexico School of Medicine in Albuquerque and colleagues compared the efficacy of sildenafil -- commonly known as the erectile dysfunction medication Viagra -- against placebos for treatment of sexual dysfunction such as orgasm delay or lack of arousal associated with serotonin reuptake inhibitor treatment in 98 women with major depression in remission.

Participants, who averaged 37 years old, were randomly assigned to take sildenafil or a placebo at a flexible dose starting at 50 mg., adjustable to 100 mg., about one to two hours before anticipated sexual activity during an eight-week period.

The randomized, controlled clinical trial, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, found that 73 percent of women taking the placebos, compared with 28 percent of women taking sildenafil, reported no improvement with treatment. On a clinician-rated severity improvement scale, women in the sildenafil group showed greater improvement in sexual function than women in the placebo group.

Side effects included headaches, flushing and indigestion, but no patients withdrew because of serious adverse effects, the study said.