Women have been waiting for decades to catch up with men in the area of intimacy with their partners. Men have been fortunate that Viagra, Cialis, and Levitra have worked wonders for millions of American men. Today there is a female Viagra, called Addyi or flibanserin that is helping women with a decreased sexual desire.
Experts are calling Addyi, the so-called “female Viagra” that’s become the first-ever FDA-approved pill for hypoactive sexual desire disorder, a revolution for women’s sexual health.
The approval of Addyi is the most important advancement in female sexual health since the oral contraceptive was approved in 1960.
It validates women’s right to treatment for sexual problems and their right to sexual health. Let the truth be told that Addyi validates that there is as much biology as psychology with regard to women’s sexual function and this is the same for men.
Addyi also known as the “little pink pill,” doesn’t work the same way that Viagra does in men. Instead of affecting blood flow to the genitals, as Viagra does, Addyi targets certain serotonin receptors in the central nervous system within the brain —similar to how anti-depression medications target other receptors — in order to improve sexual desire.
Until Addyi there were no FDA-approved drugs that targeted low sexual desire in either men or women. The FDA’s approval of Addyi to the breakthrough in men’s sexual health research when Viagra was first approved in 1998. Before then, doctors told men that erectile dysfunction was all in their heads and the only treatment offered men was testosterone which was seldom effective. Now, in 2015, we accept that there are physical reasons such as diabetes, heart disease, and hundreds of medications that result in men not being able to obtain or sustain erections. Addyi’s introduction to the marketplace could do the same for the estimated 5.5 million to 8.6 million U.S. women suffering from hypoactive sexual desire disorder, meaning a chronic lack of interest in sex.
Addyi was originally formulated as an anti-depressant. While it failed to treat depression, researchers noticed that it did increase sexual desire. Sprout Pharmaceuticals then tested it for safety and effectiveness in more than 11,000 women before winning the recent FDA approval. In three randomized studies women who took Addyi had between one-half to one more satisfying sexual event per month on average than women who took placebo pills. It also increased sexual desire as compared to the placebo, as well as lowered distress related to sexual desire dysfunction.
Although the root causes of low sexual desire in women include relationship issues and changing hormone levels due to aging.
The drug’s side effects, which include severely low blood pressure and loss of consciousness if taken with alcohol, are comparable to the side effects of psychoactive medications that were able to win FDA approval far more easily than Addyi. The most common side effects were dizziness, sleepiness, nausea and fatigue, which is why the pill is recommended for use before bed.
Bottom Line: Women with decreased sexual desire now have a medication that may solve that problem. Addyi has now been approved by the FDA for the treatment of low sexual desire in women. For more information, speak to your physician.