Sun, Nov 20, 2005 - Page 7 News List

New inhaler `love drug' could be even better than Viagra


A new inhaler-delivered love drug for women and men is threatening to do Viagra one better, putting anyone with dysfunction in the mood, US media reported on Friday.

Sex experts say the drug, known as PT-141 and which is in final trials before US Food and Drug Administration review, will be the boon to women with desire woes that Viagra has been for millions of impotent men.

"The bottom line is that women have been really shortchanged," said Laura Berman, author of The Passion Prescription: Ten Weeks to Your Best Sex -- Ever!"

"Hopefully, this will be another option for women with physiologically based sexual dysfunction," Berman said.

For now there is no pharmaceutical option for female dysfunction comparable to Viagra; women have largely been limited to seeking counseling or therapy.

New Jersey-based drugmaker Palatin Technologies expects it will take about three more years before the drug goes to market.

PT-141 is a copy of the hormone that stimulates the melanocyte-receptors in the brain that play a role in sexual arousal.

Unlike Viagra, which gets the blood flowing in men, it goes straight to work on the mind, in both sexes.

"It affects the central nervous system," Berman said. "It affects desire."

In lab trials, female rats exposed to PT-141 immediately began seeking out male rats for sex.

New York magazine reported that women who took part in trials within minutes felt a "tingling and a throbbing" along with "a strong desire to have sex."

Men told the magazine a snort made them feel "younger and more energetic" as well as eager for sex.

"You get this humming feeling," one man told the weekly. "You're ready to take your pants off and go."

Michael Perelman, a sexual-medicine adviser on the PT-141 trials, said: "Its not merely allowing a sexual response to take place more easily. It may be having an effect, literally, on how we think, and feel."

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