FDA approves form of female viagra

Beginning October, women will have their own version of Viagra.

The US Food and Drug Administration have approved flibanserin for the treatment of sexual dysfunction in premenopausal women.

Dr. Janet Woodcock, director of the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research said in a statement on Tuesday that, “Today’s approval provides women distressed by their low sexual desire with an approved treatment option.

“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.”

The drug, which will be sold as Addyi, does come with warnings such as increased risk of severe low blood pressure. This risk concern is higher in patients who consume alcohol while taking the drug. The drug can also pose health risks to those with liver problems or who take medications called CYP3A4 inhibitors (which interfere with the breakdown of the medication in the body).

While a 2002 study found that up to one-third of adult women may experience hypoactive sexual desire – women who lack sexual fantasy or desire – other experts say that the cure for low female libido is more likely to be found in the brain rather than in a bottle.

“Women’s sexuality is very complicated. It’s not a matter of just taking that pill, by the way, and then all of a sudden the lights go on,” said Judy Kuriansky, a clinical psychologist and certified sex therapist.

“You have to feel good about your body. You have to feel good about yourself. You have to feel the guy really loves you. … It’s complex. It’s not the same as a man taking a pill.”

Although Addyi is commonly referred to as ‘female Viagra’, experts say it works in a very different way to target the brain. While Viagra treats erectile dysfunction, which is a physical problem, and does not induce sexual desire, Addyi treats the central nervous system. It is for this reason the medication is in the same category as an antidepressant.

According to Sprout Pharmaceuticals, the company that makes the drug, clinical trials show that women taking Addyi experienced a 37 percent increase in sexual desire

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

Addyi will cost about the same per month for women as a one-month supply of Viagra for men.

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