New study slams ‘Female Viagra’

New study slams ‘Female Viagra’

The study says that flibanserin, the female libido drug, is not all it's cracked up to be.

A new study is ripping on flibanserin, the female libido drug often referred to as the “female Viagra.”

The study found that the average benefit of flibanserin, marketed under the name Addyi, is just half of one satisfying sexual encounter every month with regular usage, a modest benefit that is a disappointment for those who had high hopes for the drug, according to a New York Times report.

It’s gotten headlines as the first drug to treat low sexual desire in women, and women’s rights activists have lined up behind it, outraged that men get Viagra but women have no equivalent.

But public health groups say that just because it’s unfair doesn’t mean bad drugs should be rushed to the market, and science probably didn’t justify signing off on the drug — especially considering its numerous side effects, including fatigue and nausea.

Researchers examined eight studies that included close to 6,000 women, and found that there was a very slight increase in satisfying sexual encounters per month. That’s different than the findings of three clinical trials that were submitted to the Food and Drug Administration that helped earn its approval, which stated that there was an average of one extra satisfying sexual encounter per month. The new study suggests that the real number is half that.

The findings were published in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine.

“Today’s approval provides women distressed by their low sexual desire with an approved treatment option,” Janet Woodcock, M.D., director of the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (CDER) said in a statement back in August announcing the decision. “The FDA strives to protect and advance the health of women, and we are committed to supporting the development of safe and effective treatments for female sexual dysfunction.”

She added: “Because of a potentially serious interaction with alcohol, treatment with Addyi will only be available through certified health care professionals and certified pharmacies. Patients and prescribers should fully understand the risks associated with the use of Addyi before considering treatment.”

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