Chemmie Squier | Acting Fashion & Beauty Editor | Wednesday, 19 August 2015

Female Viagra Has Arrived, But It\\\\\\\'s Not Really What You Think It is

Female Viagra Has Arrived, But It's Not What You Think It is

The Debrief: For starters, it won’t give you a raging hard-on...

You might remember when we asked a member of Team Debrief to take take ‘female viagra’, a natural supplement which claims to ‘synergistically help with sexual pleasure, desire and comfort’. Now, the first ever drug designed to combat a low sex drive in women has been approved. Nicknamed ‘female Viagra’, Flibanserin (which will be sold as ‘Addyi’) has been approved from the US Food and Drug Administration after it’s third attempt, and is aimed at treating women diagnosed with hypoactive sexual desire disorder (HSDD). 

But this pink pill differs to the little blue one designed for men. For one, it won’t give you a raging hardon (I’m not even sure how it would work). Rather than giving a physical, visble effect, like aforementioned boner, it changes the brain chemistry in a similar way to dopamine and serotonin, so it’s intended to be taken daily. The Director of the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research made a statement on the approval, saying that it ‘provides women distressed by their low sexual desire with an approved treatment option’, and said that they are ‘committed to supporting the development of safe and effective treatments for female sexual dysfunction’. 

It wasn’t smooth sailing to get here. The drug was rejected twice before due to it’s negative side effects – there are concerns over how it works with alcohol and oral contraceptives and the risks of increased risk of hypotension (abnormally low blood pressure) and loss of consciousness.

In October of last year Sprout, the pharmaceutical company which acquired the drug in 2011, starting a campaign called ‘Even The Score’, which aimed to ‘level the playing field when it comes to the treatment of women’s sexual dysfunction’. Which, of course, is great. Women’s sexual dysfunction has long been a secondary and taboo issue, while men have already enjoyed 17 years of pill-induced erections. 

This seems like a step in the right direction, but some critics are not convinced that the risks mentioned above outweigh the apparent side effects. That said, if it’s been given the go ahead, surely it’s up to women with HSDD to make the call on whether they want to try it?

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Tags: Sex, Sex Ed