Women's Health

And Now, A Libido Pill For Women

imgresIn one trial of Addyi, the newly approved prescription drug to enhance women’s sex drive, those 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. Wait, there’s more, or less: The New York Times reports that 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. As a consequence of that test and others like it, Addyi was rejected by the FDA not once but twice, in 2010 and in 2013. FDA reviewers were concerned not just about the drug’s effectiveness, but about side effects, which can include low blood pressure, nausea, and sleepiness. The Times reports that the drug was finally approved after a full-press lobbying effort by a coalition, whose members include the National Council of Women’s Organizations, the Black Women’s Health Imperative and the Association of Reproductive Health Professionals. And yes, the campaign was partially underwritten by Sprout Pharmaceuticals, the maker of the drug.  According to one survey cited by the Times, about 10 percent of women suffer from hypoactive sexual desire disorder.

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