Experts shocked as FDA approves ‘female Viagra’

Experts shocked as FDA approves ‘female Viagra’

The FDA rejected two previous attempts to approve a new drug for increasing sexual desire in women.

Women may soon have a pill to increase sexual desire, the first time that there will be a female equivalent of the popular Viagra pill that has taken off ever since being released to the public back in the 1990s.

A panel of health experts has signed off on flibanserin, a drug that would aim to cure libido problems in women, which likely will pave the way for a formal approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration later this summer, according to an Associated Press report.

It would be the first time a government agency has endorsed such a pill, and it’s a surprising decision as the agency had rejected two previous attempts to get the drug approved over concerns about severe side effects and a lack of evidence that the drug even worked.

This will mean a major shakeup of the drug market, as companies had been trying to break into the lucrative female libido market ever since seeing sky-high profits on the male side of the equation with Viagra, not to mention numerous other drugs out there such as Cialis. Women’s groups have been pushing for approval of this new drug, known as flibanserin and produced by Sprout Pharmaceuticals, arguing that men have been able to enjoy a cure for their sexual problems but women have not enjoyed the same luxury.

Flibanserin is being dubbed the “female Viagra, and it works by modifying brain chemicals that control mood and appetite. It works as an antidepressant does, and it actually was originally used for that. As to why it increases sexual desire, that’s not completely known, but it may have something to do with lowering serotonin as well as dopament levels.

The drug is meant for women who have severe problems with sexual appetite, causing mental distress, something that an estimated 5.5 to 8.6 million American women struggle with, making up 8 to 14 percent of reproductive-aged women.

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