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Pfizer Inc. Message Board

  • mister_bean911 mister_bean911 Apr 1, 1998 11:27 AM Flag

    TIME article (part 2)

    Here's part 2:

    Such results ought to mean good things for women too. Female genitals fill with blood during sexual stimulation just as male
    genitals do, resulting in engorgement of the clitoris and lubrication of the vagina. As women age, they experience some of the same
    genital problems men do, as a number of ailments--particularly atherosclerosis and diabetes--impair blood flow; this leads to
    vaginal dryness, pain during intercourse and problems in achieving orgasm. Indeed, according to one study, more than a third of
    women in the 18-to-59 age group experience sexual dysfunction, compared with just 10% of men. "Male sexuality has always been
    viewed as more important," says Julia Heiman, a psychologist at the University of Washington and one of the nation's leading
    experts on female sexual dysfunction. "A man needs an erection to have intercourse, so it's easy to regard a man's sexuality as
    important and a woman's as sort of an interesting pastime."

    How effective Viagra is in women awaits the outcome of the tests. The FDA and Pfizer, the manufacturer, do not encourage women to use it. "We strongly recommend against women taking their husband's pills or physicians using it off-label," says Raymond Rosen, professor of psychiatry at the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School in New Jersey, who will chair the Cape Cod meeting.

    Still, when it comes to Viagra, some physicians see potential benefits in careful, off-label use. Goldstein plans to test
    female patients--mostly postmenopausal women--for impaired blood flow and give the drug to those he thinks it can help. He has
    already received E-mail from women eager to try it. Other doctors are bracing for the same. "The Viagra avalanche is about to
    begin," says Rosen. "Where the oral contraceptive was liberating for younger people, Viagra may be the sexual-liberation pill of
    older adults." This time both men and women will be getting in line.


    Impotence Drugs in the Works for Women

    --Viagra (chemical name: sildenafil): Relaxes muscle cells to enhance blood flow. Early female trials under way in Europe; U.S. female trials will be discussed at an FDA meeting later this month

    --Vasomax (phentolamine): Oral version of an approved injectable drug. Dilates blood vessels to increase flow. Male trials are near completion in the U.S.; female trials are planned

    --Spontane (apomorphine): Works through the central nervous system. Male trials are nearing completion; female trials are planned

    --Prostaglandin creams: Applied to surface of the genitals to stimulate blood flow. Male trials under way; female trials planned

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