Australian researchers are seeking 100 women willing to be part of a clinical trial of Tefina, a testosterone gel in the form of a nasal spray to boost sexual arousal of females. The trial, which would also be conducted in the U.S. and Canada, would need subjects between the ages 18 and 49.
The International Day of the Female Orgasm -- or Día Internacional del Orgasmo Femenino -- is a Brazilian holiday celebrated each year on August 8.
The gel, which is sprayed up the nose, absorbs the testosterone within minutes although the effects would be felt within hours. Tefina is considered the equivalent of Viagra, a drug for males who are suffering from erectile dysfunction.
Pharmaceutical giant introduced Viagra in 1998, which generates in sales almost $2 billion yearly in the U.S. Tefina will be marketed as a spray to treat Female Orgasmic Disorder, which is persistent or recurring delay in, or absence of orgasm after a normal excitement phase, according to the American Psychological Association's diagnostic manual.
"Female sexual dysfunction is a real thing and we think up to 43 per cent of women suffer some form of sexual dysfunction," ONENews quoted Dr. Fiona Jane of the Monash University in Melbourne.
"A lot of people thought that drumming up the idea of a female 'Viagra' is just for pharmaceutical companies. In fact, there is a huge need for women to have their sexual dysfunction addressed," she added.
The drug could be available in the market within the next three to five years if the clinical trials are successful.
Some groups, however, are unsure if female problems with orgasms should be addressed through medication. Dr Leonore Tiefer, a clinical associate professor of psychiatry at the NYU Langone Medical Center, said the release of a female Viagra is apparently more of an economic issue than a medical one. Her warning echoes a 2009 documentary film titled Orgasm Inc which claimed pharmaceutical companies could take advantage of women and risk their health by coming out with medication to treat Female Orgasmic Disorder as the firms pursue billion dollar profits.
Trimel Pharmaceuticals got the approved in June from Health Canada to conduct Phase Ii of its ambulatory study on Tefina in Canada. Phase II is supposed to have 240 trial patients.
The clinical study is a double-blinded, placebo-controlled trial which involves premenopausal women who will receive Tefina or placebo at home instead of a hospital setting. Besides female sexual dysfunction, Trimel also has medications for hypogonadism, asthma, Parkinson's disease and allergic rhinitis. Its medication for hypogonadism or low testosterone among males, is also intranasal.
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