The Associated Press reports the Food and Drug Administration has approved a new drug designed to increase sexual desire for women. The drug flibanserin, marketed as Addyi and created by Sprout Pharmaceutical, was rejected by the FDA twice before, citing troubling side effects (like dizziness, nausea, fainting, sleepiness, low blood pressure) and not enough benefits.
However, on Tuesday, the FDA finally approved the pill, which has been widely referred to in the media as "female Viagra" or "pink Viagra." But flibanserin works in a very different way than Viagra, targeting the brain instead of genital organs. The drug is meant to treat hypoactive sexual desire disorder (HSDD), a "persistent absence of sexual thoughts, fantasies, responsiveness, and willingness to engage in sexual activity." Here's how Sprout Pharmaceuticals describes Addyi:
[A] once-daily, non-hormonal pill for the treatment of acquired, generalized hypoactive sexual desire disorder (HSDD) in premenopausal women. Addyi is the first and only FDA-approved treatment for this condition, the most common form of female sexual dysfunction, affecting up to 1 in 10 women in the United States. Flibanserin has been studied in more than 11,000 women....For premenopausal women with HSDD, Addyi has demonstrated improvements in desire for sex, reducing distress from the loss of sexual desire and increasing the number of satisfying sexual events.
The FDA may have approved the drug, but not without stringent safety restrictions. Addyi will carry warnings about the dangers of taking it with alcohol and other medications such as those used to treat yeast infections.
According to Sprout Pharmaceuticals, Addyi could be available on the market as soon as Oct. 17.
Words: Rebecca Rose for Cosmopolitan U.S.