Health Alert 266
Remember the "female Viagra" product called Intrinsa? It was supposed to boost lagging libido in menopausal women. What happened to the first-ever drug created to address sexual dysfunction in women?
Well, Intrinsa stalled before it ever left the gate. Today I’ll show you why. You’ll see the problems with this patch. And, you’ll see women have better alternatives to ease their symptoms of menopause and restore their sex drive.
Last November, Proctor & Gamble got Intrinsa on the FDA’s fast-track to approval list. It promised to be their next big blockbuster. They sought to get it on the market as soon as possible. But one month later, FDA recommended against it. (If only they would have done that with Vioxx!) They cited the lack of long term testing.
As it turns out:
- Researchers tested Intrinsa for less than 6 months.
- They only tested it in women who had menopause induced from surgical removal of their ovaries.
- These women were also taking synthetic estrogen drugs during testing.
- The FDA reviewers found many other “unanswered questions”.
But the real victory in the Intrinsa tale may be the exposure of this important but sensitive issue. 1 in every 3 American women has diminished sexual desire.
Most don’t realize there are already safe solutions available. Especially, for women facing menopause.
If you’ve reached menopause, you may need a testosterone boost to restore your sex drive. But you don’t have to get it from Intrinsa’s synthetic testosterone substitute. You can get the real thing in the form of bio-identical testosterone. (I’ve talked about this in Health Alerts #201, #203, and #205.)
This alternative is both reliable and easy to use. Your doctor can write a prescription for the exact amount of natural testosterone you need. A compounding pharmacist can make either oral testosterone or a testosterone ointment. Your doctor can give you instructions on the frequency and times of day to best address your situation.
If your doctor isn’t familiar with compounding, you can find a compounding pharmacist on The International Academy of Compounding Pharmacists homepage at www.iacprx.org.
Do not take testosterone without having your blood levels checked. You should have a full hormone panel. You may need bio-identical estrogens too.
As long as your dose is appropriate for you and your blood level, testosterone will not turn you into a man. The healthy testosterone range for a woman is from about 40 to 90. A healthy man’s range is from 300 to 900. When you start any hormone supplementation, you should have your hormone levels checked every three months for the first year. Then you can drop back to annual tests.
I use bio-identical hormone replacement therapy including testosterone in women with great success. I’ve had menopausal women tell me they feel better than they have in years. Some even tell me they’re feeling like they’re in their 30s again.
To Your Good Health,
Al Sears MD
1. About Intrinsa, FDA Trials, http://www.aboutintrinsa.com/intrinsa-fda-trials.html, March 2005.
2. Peale, Cliff. ‘Lack of Tests was criticism of Intrinsa’, http://news.enquirer.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20041207/BIZ01/412070322, March 2005.
3. Glenn Braunstein, M.D., Chairman of Medicine at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center quoted in “Testosterone Clinical Trial To Explore Sexual Desire,” December 16, 2002.