http://www.guardian.co.uk/medicine/s...759113,00.htmlOriginally Posted by guardianHorn of rhinoceros. Penis of tiger. Root of sea holly. Husk of the emerald-green blister beetle known as the Spanish fly. So colourful and exotic is the list of substances that have been claimed to heighten sexual appetite that it is hard not to feel a twinge of disappointment on first beholding the latest entry - a small, white plastic nasal inhaler containing an odourless, colourless synthetic chemical called PT-141. Plain as it is, however, there is one thing that distinguishes PT-141 from the 4,000 years' worth of recorded medicinal aphrodisiacs that precede it: this one actually works.
And it could reach the market in as little as three years. The full range of possible risks and side effects has yet to be determined, but already this much is known: a dose of PT-141 results, in most cases, in a stirring in the loins in as little as 15 minutes. Women, according to one set of results, feel 'genital warmth, tingling and throbbing', not to mention 'a strong desire to have sex'.
Among men who have been tested with the drug more extensively, the data set is richer: 'With PT-141, you feel good,' reported anonymous patient 007: 'not only sexually aroused, you feel younger and more energetic.' According to another patient, 'It helped the libido. So you have the urge and the desire...' Tales of pharmaceutically induced sexual prowess among 58-year-olds are common enough in the age of the Little Blue Pill, but they don't typically involve quite so urgent a repertoire. Or, as patient 128 put it: 'My wife knows. She can tell the difference between Viagra and PT-141.'
The precise mechanisms by which PT-141 does its job remain unclear, but the rough idea is this: where Viagra acts on the circulatory system, helping blood flow into the penis, PT-141 goes to the brain itself. 'It's not merely allowing a sexual response to take place more easily,' explains Michael A Perelman, co-director of the Human Sexuality Program at New York Presbyterian Hospital and a sexual-medicine adviser on the PT-141 trials. 'It may be having an effect, literally, on how we think and feel.'
Palatin Technologies, the New Jersey-based maker of PT-141, has hopes of its own. Once the company gets Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval for the drug, Palatin plans to market it to the same people targeted by Viagra: male erectile-dysfunction patients. Approval as a treatment for female sexual dysfunction may follow. In the wake of Pfizer's failed attempts to prove Viagra works for women and amid growing recognition that it also doesn't work for large numbers of men, these two markets alone could make PT-141 a pharmaceutical blockbuster.
But let's face facts: a drug that makes you not only able but eager and willing isn't going to remain the exclusive property of the severely impaired. As with Viagra, there will be extensive off-label use of PT-141. Fast-acting and long-lasting, packaged in an easily concealed, single-use nasal inhaler, unaffected by food or alcohol consumption, PT-141 seems bound to take its place alongside cocaine, poppers and alcohol in the pantheon of club drugs.
But the potential market for PT-141 is all of us. Consider the precedent: a little more than four decades ago, it was another drug's arrival in the marketplace that triggered the sexual revolution. Before the advent of the birth-control pill, sex and procreation had been eternally, inseparably linked. After it, the link was pretty much optional. Momentous things ensued: chiefly women's liberation and the abortion controversy, all of them arguably the pill's indirect consequences, all of them reverberating to this day. And if all that can follow from a drug which simply made pregnancy less a matter of fate than of choice, what then to expect from a drug that does the same thing to passion itself?
Only when and if PT-141 reaches the market will we be in a position to even start answering that question.
Even assuming that PT-141 ultimately performs as well in broad use as it has in trials, even granting that it can improve sex lives as effectively as a lifetime of erotic exploration, the deeper challenge posed by the prospect of a sexual techno-fix remains: is this really the kind of fix we want? To have desire available at any time, from the nozzle of an inhaler?
Good things would come of it, to be sure. Marriages would be saved, fun would be had. But sexual Utopia? PT-141 seems just as likely to usher in the age of McNookie: quick, easy couplings low on emotional nutrition. Sex lives tailored to the demands of a jealous office or an impatient spouse. A dark age of erotic self-ignorance tarted up in the bright-coloured packaging of a Happy Meal.
The actual article is about 3x as long, but it talks a lot about rats...
Don't really have any comment on the article other than I thought it was interesting and that the drug would be really, really open to abuse.
The Lynx effect?