New drug could be female Viagra

Drug tested as new anti-depressant is hailed instead as ‘Viagra for women', as trials reveal it boosts libido...

Doctors testing a new anti-depressant found it was useless as a mood brightener – but was unexpectedly effective at boosting the female libido and are now billing it as the new female Viagra.

When scientists tested the new pills they found they did little to boost people’s moods – but did wonders for women’s flagging sex drives. Trials of the drug, flibanserin, revealed it gave women more ‘satisfactory sexual encounters’, greater desire, and less stress over problems in the bedroom.

Now three clinical trials have shown that the drug fibanserin significantly improved sexual desire and satisfaction in women.

However, fibanserin is different in that it works on the brain rather than on the genitals, according to US researcher Professor John Thorp, of the University of North Carolina. Doctors have long known that in women, the brain is the most important sex organ.

Professor Thorp said: ‘Flibanserin was a poor antidepressant. However, it increased libido,’ adding that lack of sex drive affects between nine and 26% of women.

The accidental discovery mirrors that of Viagra, which was being tested as a heart medicine in the 1990s when the male subjects prescribed it discovered it had a pleasing side effect.

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