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Female Viagra has an alternate purpose: Eye disease treatment

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So-called "female Viagra" (prescription name is flibanserin) was initially developed to treat sexual dysfunction in pre-menopausal women.

But a new study by doctors in Portland, Oregon show the drug is also a promising treatment for genetic and age-related eye diseases and disorders.

Doctors at Oregon Health & Science University's Casey Eye Institute are studying methods to slow down or even stop the loss of vision that comes with age or is inherited through genes.

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But first, what exactly is female viagra and what does it do?

The team of researchers found the drug slowed down the effect of bright light damage to the eyes of albino mice.

The doctors are hoping to start clinical trials using the drug in the near future. The focus of the trials will be on treating inherited retinal diseases which are the cause of approximately 5 percent of blindness cases. 

KATU News contributed to this report. 

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