10 Things You NEED to Know About the Recently FDA Approved Pink “Viagra” for Women

You'll never guess how unlike Viagra it really is....

Viagra for v@g!nas–when I first heard about the newly FDA approved drug, flibanserin (brand approved, Addyi), it seemed like a totally logical, inevitable and overdue option for women suffering from low libido. I mean the men have it, why shouldn’t the women have an equivalent privilege?

Ten Things You Need to Know About the New Female Viagra
gadget91 / Foter / CC BY-NC-SA

With its quickly labeled nickname, “female Viagra,” the drug has seemed to take on the role of a non-invasive little pill. The traditional original Viagra operates in coercion with one’s blood flow, or as my mom so eloquently explained, “the plumbing.” However, this version of “Viagra” (which is actually not affiliated with Viagra at all) operates much more complicated equipment which includes your brain, your body and your consciousness.

Here’s Ten Things You Need to Know About this Newly Approved Med

1. It’s very much unlike Viagra. Researchers theorize (they don’t know for sure) that the med works by managing neurotransmitters such as dopamine and serotonin. It is actually much more like a anti-depressant drug.

2. It has only been tested against placebos, not any other effective enhancers of libido such as counseling, sex or relationship therapy, lowering stress levels, changes in diet/exercise or any other potentially noninvasive methods of increasing libido.

Ten Things You Need to Know About the New Female Viagra
maxymedia / Foter / CC BY-NC-ND

3. All doctors and healthcare professionals are required to watch an online presentation as well as pass a test before prescribing Addyi to any patients. (Wtf. This reminds me of the blood born pathogen video I had to watch before starting as a camp counselor in high school). Maybe we can make doctors watch videos on Oxycontin before prescribing it too.

4. The pill itself is the culturally female-associated color, pink (Viagra’s color is blue…how cute. Too bad they really aren’t a great match though).

5. You can not drink any alcohol while on this med. It not only damages the liver, but also it can lower blood pressure to dangerous levels which can cause light headedness and very easily a loss of consciousness. Here were my immediate thoughts upon learning about this side effect: So, I def should not consider accepting a glass of wine while I’m on a date, otherwise I run the risk of feeling super sick or, worse, I might pass out and accidentally put myself at a higher risk of being date raped. 

You Might Also Like: 10 Signs Your Date is a Weirdo

6. The FDA denied approval for Addyi twice before finally approving it this past August 18, 2015.

7. The FDA requires that Addyi packaging display a BLACK BOX WARNING, the highest level of cautionary labeling possible for FDA medications.

8. Like Prozac or Zoloft and unlike Viagra (which should and can be taken as needed), Addyi must be taken daily.

9. Approval for Addyi suddenly became political. A few organizations distorted the medication’s approval into a symbol for feminism (sex libido equality). However, I know (as demonstrated in Florida regarding the issue of its addictive and lucrative pill mills) politics and pills go together like two exes.

Ten Things You Need to Know About the New Female Viagra
ClaraDon / Foter / CC BY-NC-ND

10. This company is not legally allowed to commercially promote its product until 18 months after its product’s approval.

I’m still not very convinced of its effectivity…is it a hassle more than a helper? “In one trial, for instance, women who took the drug had an average of 4.4 “satisfying sexual experiences” a month, compared with 3.7 for women getting a placebo and 2.7 before the study began. The drug did not increase desire more than a placebo when measured by a daily diary, but did do so modestly when measured by a monthly questionnaire.” (Pollock, Andrew. “FDA Approves Addyi, a libido pill for women.” New York Times.)

While this medication and even more-so, Addyi’s approval process, unnerves me to the max, perhaps it might offer some relief to a few of the (apparently) ten percent of females struggling with low libido issues. Maybe one day a medication that really does function like Viagra will be developed and available as a less invasive option for women seeking solution strategies that don’t affect their brain chemistries.

Sources and Suggested Further Readings

FDA News Release: FDA approves first treatment for sexual desire disorder

FDA Approves Controversial ‘Little Pink Pill’ But With Restrictions

We spoke with the CEO behind the first FDA approved drug to boost women’s sex drive 

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