Herbal Impotence Pills Get Some Scientific Scrutiny
WebMD News Archive
Nearly 88% of the participants who got ArginMax reported achieving better
erections, and 75% said they had an improved sex life overall. Even the placebo
group said they had better sex: 18.75% reported improved erections, and 18%
reported an overall better sex life during the study. All the patients were
checked for blood pressure and appetite changes, but no side effects were
detected, says Ito, who is conducting additional studies at a Veterans'
Hospital in northern California.
For women having sexual problems, a similar ArginMax formulation is being
tested, Mary Polan, MD, PhD, chairman of obstetrics and gynecology at Stanford
University School of Medicine, tells WebMD. She presented results of her
preliminary study of the product at an international meeting on female sexual
dysfunction in Boston last fall.
Her trial involved 49 women either nearing or at menopause, all reporting
sexual dysfunction. "Across the board, there was a significant increase in
sexual satisfaction in the women on the drug compared to the control
women," Polan says. Some 76% of the group on the ArginMax formulation
reported improved sexual desire, while 72% had greater satisfaction in their
sex lives, 64% had an improved sexual relationship with their partners, 60% had
better clitoral sensation, and 52% had more frequent orgasms.
The placebo effect definitely came into play, as in the men's study, Polan
tells WebMD. In one category, for example, "Thirty percent of women got
better on the placebo. But 60% of women get better on the drug. So there's a
Polan says she was encouraged by the results. "I take care of a lot of
peri- and post-menopausal women, and probably the second biggest complaint is
decreased or ineffective sexual functioning." Currently, there is no
similar drug for women nearing menopause, although estrogen-replacement therapy
is reported to improve sexual functioning in menopausal women. There have been
no large-scale trials of Viagra involving women, Polan tells WebMD.
The women's compound contains L-arginine, ginseng, ginkgo biloba, and the
herb damiana, which is supposed to promote the relaxed state of mind that is
important for sexuality in women, Polan says. Vitamins and minerals also were