FDA Approves ‘Female Viagra’: Does Flibanserin Work?

does addyi workAfter being shunned twice by the FDA and put on trial before a panel—supported by testimonies from women whose relationship and esteem lay in pieces due to low libido—flibanserin has been approved.

Flibanserin, freshly branded as Addyi, is that “little pink pill” that has everyone talking. Rumored to be the solution to female sexual desire disorder, flibanserin will be available to women October 17. And much like its male-targeted counterpart, Viagra, Addyi comes with a hefty price tag. To be effective, Addyi must be taken every day—without insurance coverage that could run women as much as $400 per month. It remains to be seen if insurance companies will be approving coverage for the pill.

Though approval has been won, it is still being received with mixed reviews among physicians, researchers and scientists.

Debate still exists as to whether or not hypoactive sexual desire disorder (HSDD), a term designated to diagnose chronic low libido, believed to affect 1 in 10 women, can be deemed a real diagnosis. “Normal” sexual desire in women has yet to be clearly defined. This has been one hurdle that the drug’s developer, Sprout pharmaceuticals, has struggled to overcome in gaining approval. During clinical trials, women taking flibanserin averaged 4.4 “satisfying sexual experiences” per month, compared to 3.7 among women on a placebo and 2.7 prior to the study. When daily measurements were compared, flibanserin did not increase sexual desire more than a placebo.

The approval may hinge less on the effectiveness of the drug and more on pleas for sexual health equality. Multiple drugs exist for men to treat sexual dysfunction, but until flibanserin, none have existed for women. Flibanserin’s second rejection led to the formation of advocacy groups pressuring decision-makers based on gender equality rights. While they make a strong case, including empowering women to start a conversation with their doctors about sexual health, the fact remains that Viagra, Cialis and similar drugs designed to improve blood flow and treat erectile dysfunction in men, which physically impairs male sexual performance, and can be established with a firm diagnosis. There is no pill currently marketed to address low sexual desire in men, though flibanserin may be prescribed off-label for men.

The vagueness of HSDD is just one factor that makes the little pink pill such a hot topic. Many experts are unimpressed by the drug’s claims, citing it as a “glorified anti-depressant.” Flibanserin works by changing the balance of dopamine and serotonin, chemicals that influence mood and can affect sexual desire. Other concerns—and the primary reason approval has been hard-won—are the drug’s lengthy list of side effects. Side effects including nausea, dizziness and fainting spells, all of which are exacerbated when the drug is combined with alcohol.

The highly-publicized controversy over flibanserin has certainly brought the very important topic of female sexual health to the forefront. Women should be talking to their doctors about sexual dysfunction and its impact on their mental and physical health. But flibanserin isn’t the only solution. In fact, treatments for female sexual dysfunction have existed long before the flibanserin debate was ever sparked and continue to dominate the industry as not only effective but free from side effects.

Alternatives to Flibanserin Without Side Effects

Sexual dysfunction among women is not limited to psychological factors. Aging, childbirth, menopause and other forms of hormonal imbalance can contribute to low desire or the inability to perform or enjoy sexual interactions.

Testosterone therapy and PRP therapy—alone or in combination— have helped millions of women suffering from vaginal dryness, HSDD, unwelcome physical changes to the vaginal opening and similar concerns related to sexual health.

Low sexual desire is often a symptom of low testosterone in women. While women don’t need as much testosterone as men, adequate levels are important to a woman’s health, including managing a healthy weight, emotional stability, energy and, of course, sexual desire. Some women never reach peak levels of testosterone during their lifespan, affecting them throughout every stage of life. Other women will notice testosterone levels fluctuate just before, during or after menopause.

Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy, also known as the WOW Shot™, for women, achieves comprehensive results when addressing sexual dysfunction in women. PRP has been used for decades to rejuvenate and repair damaged tissue, particularly among athletes suffering from joint injuries. PRP is sourced from each patient’s own blood, reducing the risk of side effects and improving effectiveness. The technology has been carefully developed and a technique designed to target sexual rejuvenation when injected into specific sites in the vagina and clitoris. PRP contains growth factors that when applied to a site of injury or damage, stimulate stem cells within the body to revitalize the system. The WOW Shot has been shown to improve sexual dysfunction in women, including increasing desire for sex, enhancing lubrication, sensation and orgasms, and even tightening the vaginal opening.

Are you suffering from low sexual desire? Discover comprehensive treatment options for improving sexual desire in women and men with an expert physician of the BodyLogicMD network.*

*PRP therapy not available in all states or locations.


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