FDA Approves “Female Viagra” Amid Health And Safety Concerns

The Food and Drug Administration has approved the “female Viagra,” Flibanserin – under certain conditions.

Flibanserin was rejected by the FDA twice in the past over concerns about its side effects and its effectiveness. The drug doesn’t actually function like Viagra, which relaxes muscles and increases blood flow; rather, Flibanserin treats hypoactive sexual desire disorder, and functions more like an antidepressant. It also has to be taken every day, rather than as needed.

The worrisome side effects that Flibanserin can cause are low blood pressure and loss of consciousness, the latter of which, for a drug for sexual treatment, does sound sort of horrifying. The FDA has also previously voiced concerns that despite the side effects, Flibanserin functions like a placebo. Because of the risky side effects, the drug is only going to be available through certain certified healthcare providers and pharmacies.

The drug’s manufacturer, Sprout, campaigned hard for public awareness of the FDA’s prior rejections, claiming that it constituted a gender double-standard wherein male sexual function drugs are fast-tracked while female sexual function drugs are rejected. However, several women’s health organizations have spoken out in support of the FDA’s decisions, lauding the FDA for prioritizing women’s health and safety.

However, women who want to take Flibanserin want the choice about whether the benefits outweigh the risks to be up to them. Fair enough – it’s on the market now, and we’ll see how this all plays out.

[The Guardian]

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