panel rejects ‘Female Viagra’
Flibanserin – the ‘pink pill’ purported to be a remedy
for the low sexual desire of millions of women fails to
convince the Food and Drug Administration. The panel of
reproductive advisers felt that the two studies
conducted by the promoter Boehringer Ingelheim did not
outweigh side effects, including fatigue, depression and
Drug treatment to boost women's sex drive remains
elusive after a decade of searching by some of the
world's biggest drugmakers.
The proposed drug Flibanserin is originally studied for
curbing depression antidepressant , but the resaercher’s
interest towards its libido-boosting properties after
some women reporting unusually high levels of sexual
satisfaction, following the use of the pink pill.
Flibanserin works on serotonin and other brain
chemicals, but the exact mechanism by which it boosts
libido remains to be understood.
A panelist Paula Hillard, a gynecologist from Stanford
University School of Medicine, says: "… women's sexual
health is important and … many women suffer from sexual
dysfunction, but I'm not convinced of a clinically
meaningful benefit for this drug".
The FDA will make its own decision on the drug in
coming months, though it usually follows the advice of
The attempt to trigger sexual interest through brain
chemistry is the drug industry's latest approach to find
a female equivalent to the blockbuster success of
Pfizer's erectile dysfunction drug, Viagra.
Since Viagra’s 1998 launch, more than two dozen
experimental therapies have been studied for so-called
"female sexual dysfunction," a market worth an estimated
Initially, Pfizer tested Viagra on women, hoping that
the drug's ability to increase blood flow to the
genitals would increase libido. When that didn't work,
drugmakers turned to hormones, including testosterone.
In 2004, an FDA panel rejected Procter & Gamble's
testosterone patch, Intrinsa, due to unknown risks from
long-term use. Two years earlier a massive government
study found that hormone replacement therapy in
postmenopausal women increased heart disease and breast
cancer, raising concerns about the safety of all
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Stay away from Internet-based erectile dysfunction (ED)
Stay away from non-prescription erectile dysfunction
(ED) drugs sold on the Internet, the experts say.
Internet-based companies market them, men continue to
buy them and experts continue to warn of the dangers of
counterfeit drugs for erectile dysfunction.
A study conducted in South Korea and presented at the
American Urological Association annual meeting in San
Francisco, finds that not only can these knock-off drugs
be contaminated, they may contain too much of the active
ingredient or none at all.
The drugs could especially be dangerous for men with
hypertension or heart disease, the study found.
Since the advent of Viagra (sildenafil citrarte) in
1998, the market for these and similar products —
legitimate or not — has mushroomed.
“Given the personal nature of the problem and many men’s
reluctance to discuss it, even with a doctor… men who
have sexual dysfunction are prepared to try anything and
they do try a large number of bizarre things,” says Dr.
John Morley, director of geriatrics at St. Louis
University. “They try all the Viagra look-alikes, so
people are going to buy them.”
“Buying off the Internet without going through a regular
pharmacy might appear cheaper or better but they’re
usually not and they usually don’t work,” he adds.
In the Korean study, the medical team compared 19
counterfeit erectile dysfunction (ED) drugs against
prescription Viagra, obtained directly from Pfizer
Pharmaceuticals, and Cialis (tadalafil citrate),
provided by Lilly.
Fifty-eight percent had too much active ingredient,
sometimes as much as 2.4 times more, while 3 percent had
no active ingredient at all. Some contained unapproved
compounds intended to promote an erection and even
potential toxins, including mercury and lead.
Only one of the counterfeit drugs contained “proper
active ingredients,” the researchers stated. Some
“All these drugs have side effects and that’s probably
the big reason why patients should be getting them
through a physician,” Morley said. “While these things
may be cheaper, they potentially have much greater side
More Than 40% of U.S. Teens Have Had Sex
2, 2010: More than 40 percent of unmarried U.S.
teenagers — or 4.3 million teen males and females — have
had sex at least once, according to the report by the
U.S. National Center for Health Statistics.
.These figures reflect a flattening trend of teen
pregnancies seen since 2002 and capping of downward
trend witnessed between 1995 and 2002.
“One of the great success stories of the past two
decades has been the extraordinary declines in teen
pregnancy and childbearing,” said Bill Albert, chief
program officer at the National Campaign to Prevent Teen
and Unplanned Pregnancy. “This progress has recently
What is quite alarming is that 1 in 5 teen girls and 1
in 4 teen boys who had had sex said they would be
pleased if they or their partner got pregnant.
The study, which analyzed data from the 2006-2008
National Survey of Family Growth, also found that
about one-quarter of female teens and 29 percent of
males reported two or more sexual partners, the same as
2002. Females who started having sex when they were
younger were more likely to accumulate more partners.
While most teens had not had intercourse in the month
before being asked about this (76 percent of females and
79 percent of males, the same as 2002), 12 percent of
females and 10 percent of males reported having sex in
the prior month.
The majority of teens had used some form of
contraception during their first intercourse: 79 percent
of females and 87 percent of males. And condom use is on
the rise. As in 2002, it ranked as the most common form
of birth control and was used at least once by 95
percent of teens.
The next favored form of birth control was withdrawal
(58 percent), then the pill (55 percent).
Seventeen percent of teens said they had used the rhythm
method, as compared to 11 percent in 2002.
Seventy-one percent of female teens in 2006-2008
“agreed” or “strongly agreed” that “it is OK for an
unmarried female to have a child,” about the same
proportion as 2002. But now 64 percent of males agreed
with the statement, up from 50 percent in 2002.
Fourteen percent of females and 18 percent of males
interviewed said they would be “a little pleased” or
“very pleased” if they or their partner got pregnant. On
the flip side, 58 percent of never-married female teens
and 47 percent of males said they would be “very upset”
if this happened, pointing to the importance of
motivation in not getting pregnant.
“With nearly half of all teenagers stating that they
are sexually active, we cannot afford to keep our heads
in the sand about ensuring that our young people have
access to comprehensive sex education,” said Cecile
Richards, president of Planned Parenthood Federation of
America. “While it’s encouraging to hear that a majority
of them are using some form of birth control, many of
the attitudes revealed in this report tell us that there
is plenty of room for more comprehensive sex education
that includes information about abstinence,
contraception, healthy relationships, and responsible
The full report is available at National
Center for Health Statistics, part of the
U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.