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“Viagra” for women suffers another setback

“Viagra” for women suffers another setback

Pleasure pill for the woman suffers a new setback

The groundbreaking success of the male potency enhancing drug Viagra started around 16 years ago. Since then, the pharmaceutical industry has been feverishly looking for a counterpart for women. Now the pleasure pill for the woman received another setback from a US authority.

Feverish search for pleasure pill for women After the American drug agency approved the potential-increasing pill for men, Viagra, about 16 years ago, the feverish search of the pharmaceutical industry for a counterpart for women began. But now the pleasure pill suffered another setback for the woman. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) asked the US company Sprout Pharmaceuticals for more in-depth research into possible side effects for its libido-promoting pill "flibanserin". This was announced by the laboratory located in Raleigh, North Carolina, on Tuesday.

Funds purchased from German pharmaceutical company For the company, the FDA's objection means another setback in the 15-year search for a drug that increases female lust. After the successful and lucrative market launch of Viagra, numerous large pharmaceutical companies such as Viagra inventor Pfizer or Procter & Gamble plunged into this research. Nowadays, it is mainly small start-ups that are bustling in this field. Prout Pharmaceuticals bought "Flibanserin" from the German company Boehringer Ingelheim in 2011. The Rhineland-Palatinate company had thrown in the towel after a negative decision from the FDA.

Pink Viagra with side effects The active ingredient "Flibanserin" was actually developed to relieve depression. During development, the researchers at the pharmaceutical company discovered that the substance can also increase the sensation of pleasure in women. Thus, the drug should be sold as "pink Viagra" in pharmacies in order to increase libido especially for women before the menopause. Studies at the time, however, would have shown that women who took the remedy saw only a modest upward trend in their “sexually satisfactory events”. In addition, side effects were common in studies. These included dizziness, tiredness and nausea. Insomnia, dry mouth, constipation and stress were also occasionally observed as a side effect. The clinical studies also showed that the sedative effect of the substance could also increase the risk of accidents and injuries.

Female libido influenced by various factors So far, the Sprout laboratory run by a couple has apparently not been able to eradicate the pitfalls of the pill. In a study by the company, ten percent of the subjects reported drowsiness after taking the drug every day. The American drug agency now wants to know how the pill reacts with other drugs and whether this affects the ability to drive. Experts believe that finding a “female Viagra” is so difficult, among other things, because the female libido is influenced by many different factors. If the FDA approved “Flibanserin” one day, the drug would be particularly suitable for women who are on the verge of menopause and who lack sexual desire. But then Sprout Pharmaceuticals would first have to find doctors who prescribe the drug, because often enough there is still skepticism, as it was said. (sb)

Photo credit: Martin Berk / pixelio.de

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