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FDA Votes To Approve "Female Viagra"

June 11, 2015 2 min read

Last week, the Food and Drug Association panel recommended approval for an experimental drug meant to help boost female sex drive. The drug has previously been rejected twice but this time the panel voted 18 to 6 in favour of Sprout Pharmaceuticals' daily pill Flibanserin, hailed as "female Viagra." They stipulated, however, that the manufacturer develop a plan to limit the risks which include fatigue, low blood pressure and fainting spells. Viagra works by increasing blood flow whereas Flibanserin alters brain chemistry and was first studied as an antidepressant before being used to treat women with low libido. One in ten women have hypoactive sexual desire disorder which is defined as a persistent biological lack of desire. And the FDA reports that 43% of women have some form of sexual dysfunction which is actually higher than that of men which is at 31%. Women's groups are behind the move to approve this drug. They even started the Even the Score campaign to combat the disparity in how sexual dysfunction drugs are made available. There are 26 drugs available to treat sexual dysfunction in men but not one for women with low libido. Having said that, there is coalition led by the National Women's Health Network that opposes the drug because of its health risks. The most convincing arguments come from the women who participated in the clinical trials for the drug. "I should be able to determine if Flibanserin is worth the benefit of treatment," said Amanda Parrish, who explained she experienced low libido  during her second marriage and therefore decided to participate in the trial. She added, "What a relationship-saving eight months that was." What do you think? Approve the drug already or is it too risky? h/t: Elle

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