Use of sildenafil for female sexual dysfunction

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OBJECTIVE: To review the pathophysiology of female sexual dysfunction (FSD) and the literature regarding the use of sildenafil in its treatment. DATA SOURCES: Literature was accessed through MEDLINE (1966-April 2006), Iowa Drug Information Service (1966-April 2006), EMBASE (1966-April 2006), and bibliographies of pertinent articles. Search terms included female sexual dysfunction; sexual dysfunction, psychological; phosphodiesterase inhibitors; and sildenafil. DATA SYNTHESIS: The lack of a clear understanding of FSD contributes to the limited treatment options available. Studies regarding the safety and efficacy of the phosphodiesterase 5 inhibitor sildenafil in the management of FSD were evaluated. Many trials have been of poor quality, making clinical application of their results difficult. The current literature does not show sildenafil to be an effective treatment option for FSD. CONCLUSIONS: Treatment of FSD should include both physical and psychological components. Based on the limited data available, it appears that sildenafil, while well tolerated, offers little or no benefit to most patients with FSD.

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