Dr. Irwin Goldstein, MD, explains what women should know about viagra for women and its availability.
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So Viagra for women isn’t Viagra for women; it’s the global concept that a drug has gone through a development plan involving pre-clinical work in animals to better understand how this drug works, and then phase-1 units that has not caused any harm to people. Phase-2 units where we have learned the dosing and very broad institutional locations across the US and outside the US, and then ultimately phase-3, actually a series of phase-3 studies where a specific dose is given to a certain cohort of patients, and safety and efficacy are established. So if we use the concept of Viagra, meaning that a pill has achieved those milestones, we’re very close to a pill being submitted to the FDA having achieved all those milestones in the calendar year 2008 and depending on the speed of the FDA review, the minimal could be six months, where the maximum could be a year, and if the approval process is acceptable then we will have set into motion a new historic concept. The concept would be that the Viagra pill which is affecting the periphery and blood flow locally would now be for women maybe more appropriately, a drug that affects central responses to sexual thoughts and fantasies that facilitate the reflex that allow gates, the equivalent of gates, to open or the equivalent of the break being released so that the accelerator can now happen. I don’t care how you, which paradigm you like, but the end result is a reflex is more likely to fire than a reflex is more likely to be inhibited. Then natural arousal blood flow processes will happen. It’s very exciting. We’ve not had a CNS drug approved in the field of sexual medicine heretofore. That will open other CNS drugs to be developed and to be used now in men. So men one day will have both CNS and peripheral drugs and maybe even women will have CNS and peripheral drugs. For women in Europe, there’s a sex steroid drug, testosterone, that has been approved for women and at a symposium here we have heard that a drug company is involved in negotiations with the agency, the FDA, to develop a specific testosterone for women. So there’s buzz, there’s movement, there’s excitement, there’s energy, and with the approval of a drug we have as a society, as a field, resources to do more research and resources to do education because it’s a huge educational component missing out there. Doctors treat women, but not necessarily their sexual issues. Patients have never been able to ask because on the other side of asking there’s nothing to be given. So both the patient needs education, the doctor needs education, the medical school has done essentially no teaching in women’s sexual health issues: anatomy, physiology, pathophysiology, diagnosis, treatment that has not entered into medical schools. We’re now in 10 years of Viagra; we still don’t have sexual medicine in the medical school but now engaging both genders with educational resources could theoretically get sexual medicine back into the mainstream, get sexual medicine like HIV medicine and pain medicine and sleep medicine and sports medicine and rehab medicine and all other forms of medicine which are taught at the medical school and for which many of them have residency training programs. It would open up that possibility. Our dream as a field is to take the rest of the medical community and take us seriously because we apply the principles of medicine, evidence-based scientific information to help humans who have sexual health problems because nobody is doing that.

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