The FDA just approved the use of the medication Addyi, which people are calling the “female Viagra.” The pill is supposed to help boost women’s sex drive and it is unique in that it addresses the issue of improving desire, as opposed to actual Viagra which just helps guys with their erections and not their libido in general.
The launch of the drug has been fraught with controversy from the jump. Supporters of the pill chided the drug market for not providing options for women with libido issues, while others criticized drug companies for pushing the issue under the guise of women’s equality. But the drug has been approved and now there is an option for women who are finding they’ve been feeling less than randy lately. The drug works “by changing the balance of certain brain neurotransmitters like dopamine and serotonin,” according to the Times. Side-effects include “low blood pressure, fainting, nausea, dizziness and sleepiness.” Addyi’s label also warns that women who drink alcohol should not take it “since that can increase the risk of severely low blood pressure and fainting.” So if you’re willing to forgo booze (or risk a fainting spell) in the name of good sex, the option is yours.
Still, you’ll have to wait another 18 months before you see any awkward Addyi commercials, complete with women staring out onto the ocean, wearing comfy cashmere sweaters and having romantic beach picnics with their lovers. Sprout Pharmaceuticals, which produces the drug, says it is holding off on radio and TV advertising. As of now, the drug is approved for premenopausal women, though it is looking into getting the green light from the FDA for postmenopausal women and possibly men.
The drug goes on sale October 17.