'Women's Viagra' Targets Her ... Brain

Potential market huge for new drug that unleashes libido
By Emily Rauhala,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 13, 2009 11:11 AM CST
'Women's Viagra' Targets Her ... Brain
Can a pill change what she's thinking?   (©f_mafra)

(Newser) – Drug makers think sex is all in a woman's head—and they'll bet money on it. A German pharmaceutical company is putting the final touches on a pill designed to unleash a woman's desire by altering her brain chemistry. The pill, which the company says works by triggering the production of dopamine, has the potential to revolutionize sexual medicine as much as Viagra did. Still, some are wary of a drug essentially designed to block sexual inhibitions, and others hesitate to label disinterest in sex a medical condition.

The market for such a drug is potentially even bigger than the $2 billion spent annually on erectile dysfunction drugs, because more women than men report sexual problems. Boehringer, the world's largest privately held pharmaceutical firm, stumbled on the active compound in the new drug while searching for a depression treatment in the 1990s, Bloomberg reports. It didn't succeed in lifting subjects' moods, but it did enhance sexual appetite.


(Read more libido stories.)

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