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Treatments For Low Sex Drive Give Some Women Hope

New treatments offer promise to the millions of otherwise happily married American women with decreased sexual desire, or hypoactive sexual drive disorder (HSDD).

One of these treatments, which uses the drug bupropion hydrochloride SR, marketed under the name Wellbutrin, has already helped women involved in a study of the drug's effectiveness. Margaret Christilles, one of the women in the study which was released last week, spoke with The Early Show on May 22.

The May 22 edition of "48 Hours" will also look at treatment for women suffering from HSDD as part of the show's report on sex in the new century.

Margaret Christilles says she and her husband Don have had a good sex life for most of their 25-plus years of marriage, but gradually over the years, her sex drive diminished.

The study was limited to non-depressed women with normal testosterone levels, so after a test that showed her levels were normal, Christilles began taking Wellbutrin. She says it worked well, but now that the study is over and Christilles is no longer on the medication (it has not been approved by the FDA to treat HSDD), her sex drive is reduced.

Dr. Harry Croft told The Early Show that Wellbutrin increases sex drive without causing sexual dysfunction like some other drugs commonly used to treat depression, such as Prozac.

He also said that the initial study was "single-blind," meaning the same women who were given the Wellbutrin for four weeks were also given a placebo for four weeks. The next step should be a "double-blind" study, where some women get the drug while others are given a placebo, and neither the women nor the researchers know who is taking what until the study is over.

"48 Hours" will look at another treatment for women with HSDD who also have low testosterone levels, touted by former model Cristina Ferrare, as part of the show's report "It's Just Sex."

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