Viagra pills are seen in a handout photo.(Xihua/Rueters Photo)
Viagra, a popular drug that turns around the sex lives of many older men, now may help women on antidepressants have better sex, U.S. media reported on Wednesday.
They found women on antidepressants who took Viagra had fewer sexual side effects than those who took a placebo. Sexual dysfunction can prompt many people to stop taking drugs to treat depression.
Up to 70% of men and women who take antidepressants for major depression experience sexual dysfunction, according to an article in Tuesday Journal of the American Medical Association.
Sexual dysfunction is linked with most commonly used antidepressants, including selective and nonselective serotonin reuptake inhibitors. These drugs represent 90 percent of the 180 million antidepressant prescriptions filled in the United States each year, according to the researchers.
The researchers studied 98 women with an average age of 37 who had symptoms of sexual dysfunction, including delay of orgasm or lack of arousal, and whose depression was in remission after treatment with antidepressants.
Women took a dose of Viagra or the placebo one to two hours before anticipated sexual activity for eight weeks.
72% of women who took Viagra saw their symptoms improve, compared with 27% of women who took placebos.
(Agencies via Xinhua News Agency July 23,2008)