FDA approves Addyi “Female Viagra” drug to increase sex drive.

FDA Approves “Female Viagra,” First Drug Aimed at Boosting Women’s Sex Drive

FDA Approves “Female Viagra,” First Drug Aimed at Boosting Women’s Sex Drive

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Aug. 18 2015 10:13 PM

FDA Approves “Female Viagra,” First Drug Aimed at Boosting Women’s Sex Drive

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Capsules of food supplements are seen at the end of the production chain in Forbach, France.

Photo by JEAN-CHRISTOPHE VERHAEGEN/AFP/Getty Images

The Food and Drug Administration approved on Tuesday a new treatment—the so-called female Viagra—aimed at increasing a woman’s sex drive. The drug Addyi (flibanserin) will now go on sale starting Oct. 17, according to Sprout Pharmaceuticals.

The process of approving the drug has been fraught with controversy over the pill’s effectiveness and side effects, while supporters welcomed the drug to a marketplace full of treatments for men’s sexual health, but scant options for women. The FDA gave the nod to the drug this week after twice rejecting it for not being effective enough and for its side effects.

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Here’s more on the drug from the New York Times:

The drug — Addyi from Sprout Pharmaceuticals — is actually the first drug approved to treat a flagging or absent libido for either sex. Viagra and other drugs available for men are approved to help achieve erections, or to treat certain deficiencies of the hormone testosterone, not to increase desire. Advocates who pressed for approval of Addyi, many of them part of a coalition called Even the Score, said that a drug to improve women’s sex lives was long overdue, given the many options available to men. … But critics said the campaign behind Addyi had made a mockery of the system that regulates pharmaceuticals and had co-opted the women’s movement to pressure the F.D.A. into approving a drug that was at best minimally effective and could cause side effects like low blood pressure, fainting, nausea, dizziness and sleepiness.

The drug is designed to help premenopausal women with hypoactive sexual desire disorder, which the Associated Press reports, affects 8 percent to 14 percent of women in America from age 20 to 49—or between 5.5 million and 8.6 million women. "Company trials showed women taking the drug generally reported one extra ‘sexually satisfying event’ per month, and scored higher on questionnaires measuring desire,” according to the AP.