Sex patch effectiveness doubted: Associated with side-effects such as hair loss

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The patch is designed for post-menopausal women

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A top medical journal has cast doubt on whether a testosterone patch designed to boost post-menopausal women’s flagging sex drive actually works.

The Drug and Therapeutics Bulletin (DTB) also said the long-term safety of Intrinsa remained unproven.

It criticised trials of the treatment as flawed and inconclusive.

The makers, Procter & Gamble Pharmaceuticals, said Intrinsa had been thoroughly tested, and had been shown to be effective.

“We cannot recommend Intrinsa for use in women with sexual dysfunction”

Drug and Therapeutics Bulletin

The falling away of sexual desire after the menopause is known as hypoactive sexual desire disorder (HSDD).

There is some evidence that the condition may be linked to low levels of the sex hormone testosterone.

Intrinsa is designed to address the problem by releasing a daily dose of the hormone into the blood stream from a patch worn on the lower abdomen.

It is prescribed for women with HSDD who are also receiving therapy to top up levels of another sex hormone, oestrogen.

The patch was licensed by the European Medicines Evaluation Agency in July 2006.

The journal also highlighted the fact that the patch was associated with side-effects such as hair loss, acne, skin reactions, weight gain, migraine and insomnia.

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