Wednesday July 5 10:02 AM ET
By Steven Reinberg
NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Viagra (sildenafil) may help to reverse sexual dysfunction in women with spinal cord injury, according to the results of a study.
The drug has already been shown to be effective in treating erectile dysfunction in men with spinal cord injury, according to the Dr. Marca L. Sipski from Miami Veterans Administration Medical Center, Florida, and a multicenter team.
Sipski's group studied 19 premenopausal women with spinal cord injury. The women were randomly assigned to receive either 50 mg of Viagra or a placebo (inactive pill). The team recorded both physiologic and subjective measures of sexual response, heart rate and blood pressure at the beginning of the study and during sexual stimulation.
The team found that the women reported more sexual satisfaction after taking Viagra than after taking placebo, according to the report in the June issue of Urology.
"Women felt more aroused and there was an increase in blood flow in the genital region as well," Sipski told Reuters Health. These women, she noted, took the drug just once. "So," she said, "it might be that if they used the drug in a different dose or in an at-home setting they might have even better results."
The drug did cause mild changes in the women's heart rates and blood pressure. "Cardiovascular data showed a modest increases in heart rate...and mild decreases in blood pressure...consistent with the peripheral vasodilatory mechanism of the drug," the team notes.
"In addition to woman with spinal cord injury, other populations of women who have physiologic sexual dysfunction--for instance women with multiple sclerosis or spinal disease--may also benefit from the medication," Sipski added.
SOURCE: Urology 2000;55:812-815.