"Viagra for Women"?

A drug in its testing stages is claiming to pack the same punch for women as the little blue pill for men.

But is it really a "Viagra for women"?

CBS News medical correspondent Dr. Jennifer Ashton reported that Flibanserin, which was originally created as an anti-depressant -- and performed poorly -- could have a new purpose.

Ashton said, according to testing, Flibanserin could have the potential to revolutionize the treatment of hypoactive sexual desire disorder (HSDD), a condition which affects more than one in 10 women.

The results of four clinical trials, Ashton explained, looked at around 1,946 pre-menopausal women with low libido and female sexual dysfunction. When given a 100 milligram dose daily, she said, the drug appears to have significantly increased sexual desire and satisfaction.

Ashton said, "It's not exactly a female Viagra, but the closest thing that women might have to it."

The research, funded by its German manufacturer, Boehringer Ingelheim, said the drug could actually treat the rather complex medical condition of decreased sexual libido in women.

Ashton added, "Viagra is so effective for men because what usually causes sexual dysfunction in men is usually what we say a 'plumbing problem,' it's a blood flow issue. And Viagra works great for that. Women are a little more complicated. Usually it's a partially a brain issue, there can be a lot of things that cause low sexual desire in women."

As for side effects, anti-depressants, Ashton said, can cause weight gain and disturb sleep patterns.

"It's important not to just jump into any consideration of this," she said.

But when will the drug come on the market?

Ashton said currently the drug is only being used in investigational trials.

But are there any treatments in the mean time for women?

Ashton said Viagra has been used off-label in treating women with sexual dysfunction, as well as other anti-depressants. In addition, hormonal therapies, testosterone and some natural or herbal remedies have been used.

"They all can have side effects," Ashton said, "so women really want to discuss that with their doctor."
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