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FDA Diminish Hopes On ‘Female Viagra

US authorities are pouring cold water on hopes for a new drug to treat women with //low sexual desire.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) wants more studies to be done on the Intrinsa patch made by Procter & Gamble in order to find out what long-term side effects the drug may induce, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Intrinsa has been called "female Viagra" as it promises to restore healthy sexual appetites to women struggling with low desire.

Though experts say female sexuality is more complex than male, and affected more deeply by mood, self-esteem and the relationship, new studies of Intrinsa showed that the drug boosts desire by delivering small doses of testosterone through a woman's skin, thereby boosting the level of the male sex hormone in the bloodstream.

According to some estimates, the drug could help 11 million US women who are thought to suffer from a condition known in medical circles as hypoactive sexual desire disorder, or HSDD.

But though it took only six months for the FDA to approve Viagra for enhancing male libido, there is no approval in sight for the female version.

Acknowledging the "huge demand" that would probably come with approval, panel members worried aloud that long-term use by millions of women might increase the rates of breast cancer, heart disease and stroke.

The concerns were increased by the belated recognition that hormone replacement therapy, used for years to soften the effects of menopause, was linked to a significant increase in heart disease, breast cancer and strokes.

The cautious approach is also because of mounting concern over long-term safety of new drugs prompted by the discovery last December of the potentially fatal side effects associated with the anti-arthritis drug Vioxx.

Last December, just weeks after Vioxx was pulled from the market for safety concerns, an FDA panel gave the testosterone patch - made by
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