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Pfizer 'cautiously optimistic' on Viagra for women

2002-10-16 13:02:05 -0400
By Richard Woodman
Reuters Health

Pfizer said on Wednesday it was "cautiously optimistic" about the chances of developing a female version of Viagra following study results showing the drug can help women who have difficulty becoming sexually aroused.

In the study, 52 postmenopausal women and 150 who had had hysterectomies, all of whom had female sexual arousal disorder, were randomized to receive either Viagra (25-100 mg flexible dose) or placebo for 12 weeks.

More patients reported improved sensation and satisfaction with Viagra than placebo, reported Laura and Jennifer Berman, specialists in sexual medicine at the University of California Los Angeles Medical Center.

They told a recent sexual dysfunction congress in Montreal that 57% of women on Viagra reported improved sensation during intercourse compared with 44% of those on placebo. Increased satisfaction was reported by 42% versus 28%.

Efficacy was greatest in a subgroup of women with female sexual arousal disorder who had no problems with sexual desire. They reported significantly greater improvement in vaginal lubrication and ability to have orgasm.

In this group, 69% of Viagra patients versus 41% of those on placebo reported improved sensation while increased satisfaction rates were 50% versus 21%.

Most adverse events were mild to moderate in severity, with headache, flushing, stuffy nose, nausea and visual disturbances reported most commonly.

Pfizer spokesman Geoffrey Cook told Reuters Health: "We are cautiously optimistic but we have a long way to go before we have enough data to file with the regulatory authorities."

He confirmed that the company will continue investigating Viagra in multiple potential female indications but noted that sexual dysfunction in women is far more complex than male erectile dysfunction.

For commercial reasons, he declined to say which female indications look most promising.

Copyright © 2002 Reuters Limited