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FDA Approves 'Female Viagra'

The little pink pill may help boost women's sex drive -- and it just hit the pharmacy shelves.

FDA Approves 'Female Viagra'

A little pink pill may be the answer in assuaging an extremely low sex drive in women who are premenopausal. In August, the FDA approved flibanserin for women who suffer from a low libido; the pill made its way to the pharmacy shelves this past weekend. Dr. Janet Woodcock, director of the FDA's Center for Drug Evaluation and Research says, "The FDA strives to protect and advance the health of women, and we are committed to supporting the development of safe and effective treatments for female sexual dysfunction."

However, the approval comes without warnings because the drug was given the ok with a risk evaluation. One of the major concerns of taking the drug is that it can increase one's risk of severe low blood pressure, causing a brief loss of consciousness. It's recommended to not drink alcohol while taking Addyi. The FDA is requiring a "boxed warning" to notify patients who drink alcohol, have liver issues, and those who are taking CYP3A4 inhibitors. Those who take CYP3A4 medications should not take Addyi because it would interrupt the breakdown of the medication within the body. 

According to a 2002 study, close to one-third of women may endure a low sexual desire (hypoactive) or fantasy. Sprout Pharmaceuticals, the maker of the pink pill, conducted a study in which there was a 37 percent increase in sexual desire of women who were taking the drug. 

Given the nickname "female Viagra," Addyi actually targets the brain, a completely different mechanism of action compared to Viagra. Viagra is solely for treating erectile dysfunction in men -- not inducing sexual desire. Since Addyi acts on the central nervous system, the pink pill falls into the antidepressant category. 

Another important difference to note between the two is that Viagra is to be taken before sex whereas Addyi is to be taken once every night. Why at night? Taking it at night will reduce any harsh reactions from low blood pressure and sleepiness or depression from a fatigued central nervous system. Side effects of Addyi may include dizziness, nausea, fatigue, insomnia, and dry mouth. 

Dr. Holly Thacker, an obstetrician gynecologist at The Cleveland Clinic says, "It doesn't treat all sexual dysfunction, it won't help all women with sexual problems, but it will have a role in therapy. Just like any medication -- adult women in conjunction with their physician can make an informed decision about whether this an appropriate therapy for them."

If you suffer from a low sex drive and are premenopausal consult with your doctor before taking the medication. 

 

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