Designing drugs for the treatment of female sexual dysfunction
Dysfunction of female sexual desire, arousal, or orgasm affects approximately 30% of women. Early attempts to treat female sexual dysfunction arose out of programs developed for male erectile dysfunction and have proven largely unsuccessful. A new wave of targets is now being pursued; many of these targets are postulated to modulate central pathways. Classical neurotransmitter systems, such as dopamine and serotonin, as well as the neuropeptide melanocortin, are receiving the most attention. Early clinical data look promising; however, clinical trial methodology in female sexual dysfunction is not well developed and only further testing will determine whether these treatments meet regulatory hurdles and satisfy patient need.
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