Addyi – Is it the new Female Viagra?
Addyi – Is it Viagra for Women?
Addyi Review – Could it be Female Viagra?
What is Addyi? It’s the new “brand” name for Flibanserin – recently approved by the FDA and soon to be the first prescription treatment for women with low libido or reduced sex drive. Addyi (flibanserin) 100 mg tablets, developed by Sprout Pharmaceuticals, was FDA-approved on August 18, 2015 for the treatment of acquired, generalized hypoactive sexual desire disorder (HSDD) in premenopausal women. Flibanserin was originally to be used as an anti-depressant, and instead will be the first approved medication for HSDD, and is classified as a multifunctional serotonin agonist antagonist.
Experts are calling Addyi, the so-called “female Viagra” that’s become the first-ever FDA-approved pill for hypoactive sexual desire disorder, a revolution for women’s sexual health. “The approval of Addyi is the most important advancement in female sexual health since the Pill was approved in 1960,” said Sheryl Kingsberg, chief of behavioral medicine at MacDonald Women’s Hospital and a reproductive biology professor at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine.
Addyi, or flibanserin, also known as the “little pink pill,” doesn’t work the same way that Viagra does in men. Instead of affecting blood flow to the genitals, as Viagra does, Addyi targets certain serotonin receptors in the central nervous system — similar to how anti-depression medications target other receptors — in order to improve sexual desire. Before its approval this past August, there were no FDA-approved drugs that targeted low sexual desire in either men or women. Addyi becomes the first prescription medication which aims to target “desire” in the human mind – and not simply address physical issues like blood flow or circulation like the vasodilator drugs such as Viagra do.
“I’ve never heard of Addyi. Where did it come from?”
The pill was originally formulated as an anti-depressant. While it failed to effectively treat depression, researchers noticed that it did increase sexual desire in a small percentage of the people taking it. The company that owned Flibanserin at that time – German company Boehringer Ingelheim tried to get FDA approval for the drug as a treatment for low female sex drive. After the FDA rejected the drug, Sprout Pharmaceuticals bought the rights to Flibanserin, and then tested it for safety and effectiveness in more than 11,000 women before winning FDA approval on what was by then the 3rd attempt to get FDA approval.
In three randomized, double-blind trials, women who took Addyi had between one-half to one more “satisfying sexual event” per month on average than women who took placebo pills. It also increased sexual desire as compared to the placebo, as well as lowered distress related to sexual desire dysfunction.
The pill’s modest returns are exactly why some critics are suspicious of Addyi’s ability to make an impact on women’s sexual health. Dr. Prudence Hall, a gynecologist who runs an alternative wellness center focused on women’s health in Santa Monica, California, says that the root causes of low sexual desire in women include relationship issues and changing hormone levels due to aging.
While she praised the FDA’s approval of Addyi for shining a spotlight on women’s sexual health, she questioned Addyi’s seemingly limited effect on women’s sex lives and called the trial’s results “just crazy.”
Does Addyi work?
Unfortunately the jury is still out on that question – and that is why Addyi has been rejected 3 times by the FDA up until this year. The FDA rejected the drug previously on the basis that it had questionable effectiveness compared to the long list of potential side effects. In clinical studies, even the women who did experience positive results only saw an increase of 1 “sexually satisfying event” per month – barely more than the placebo group.
As mentioned, Addyi does come with some potentially troublesome side effects – not the least of which is dangerously low blood pressure when using alcohol while taking the drug. For this reason the drug comes with the contraindication of abstaining from alcohol the entire time a woman is taking Addyi. While most women will probably not be interested in such a drastic lifestyle change for a drug with questionable benefits – undoubtedly a small group of women will judge that the potential benefit is worth it.
What’s getting missed in all the hoopla and media attention is the fact that several natural female enhancers already exist in the marketplace, and many provide far more benefits without the negative side effects. Several herbal enhancers like Femestril, Provestra, and Hersolution have created extremely effective libido enhancers using only pure and natural ingredients which boost female sex drive without harming your health – and as a bonus, you can still enjoy a glass of wine while taking them!
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