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FDA approves first 'female Viagra'

Staff writer |
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the first pill designed to boost sexual desire in women.

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The little pink pill, “Viagra for women,” had a modest effect in boosting women’s interest in sex during clinical studies. But there are “serious risks” of low-blood pressure and fainting with the drug, especially when taken while drinking alcohol, an FDA analysis said. The side effects could give doctors pause if their patients demand the drug, The Wall Street Journal reports.

The approval of the drug Addyi follows a lobbying campaign by the drug’s maker, Sprout Pharmaceuticals and by a group called Even the Score, partially sponsored by Sprout. In an online petition, Even the Score says the FDA “has approved 24 drugs for the treatment of male sexual dysfunction. For women, that number is zero.”

The best-known of the drugs for men, like Viagra and Cialis, affect blood flow and men’s physical ability to have sex. Addyi, generically called flibanserin, is designed to increase sexual desire in women who are distressed by low libido.