FDA Approves Drug to Boost Women's Libido
Beginning this fall, women with low sexual desire will be able to be treated with a medication said to increase a woman’s libido. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) yesterday approved the drug, called Addyi, but it will come with a warning of certain side effects, such as that it can lower a person’s blood pressure and can cause fainting. Women will also be advised that it shouldn’t be taken with alcohol.
Addyi has been met with mixed reception. The National Consumer League called the drug as “the biggest breakthrough in women’s sexual health since the advent of ‘the Pill’”, while Public Citizen, a consumer watchdog group, warned of the “serious dangers to women, with little benefit."
Unlike Viagra, which affects blood flow to the genitals, Addyi is meant to activate sexual impulses in the brain. It is similar to a class of other drugs known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, or SSRI’s, that include antidepressants such as Prozac.
The FDA had rejected the drug twice before. Its approval comes after an advisory panel concluded in June it should be approved with strict measures in place to ensure patients are fully aware of the risks.