‘Female Viagra’ could soon become a reality

By Lindsay de Freitas
18 August 2015

A drug dubbed the ‘female Viagra’ has tested well during trials and will be available as soon as American pharmaceutical watchdog gives the go-ahead.

Flibanserin, a female libido enhancer created by Sprout Pharmaceuticals, is currently being evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Unlike Viagra, the drug combats a waning libido not by targeting the genitals but by accessing the pleasure centre of a woman’s brain. Women who suit the criteria for the “little pink pill” (as it’s been dubbed) would take flibanserin every day for the rest of their sex lives, unlike Viagra which men take before sex.
'It's not about blood flow. Desire is happening in the brain'

Manufacturer, Sprout Pharmaceuticals, agrees that its product works very differently to Viagra which ultimately helps men achieve erections.  According to their CEO Cindy Whitehead, “It's not about blood flow. Desire is happening in the brain."

The company has requested that the FDA approve flibanserin for premenopausal women whose lack of sex drive is not caused by a medical or mental health condition or by a other medication.

Despite the generally positive clinical trial the drug is still plagued by some serious side effects. Originally created as an antidepressant, the drug has been linked to side effects such as; fainting and low blood pressure, nausea, fatigue, drowsiness and insomnia.

Yet the FDA looks poised to approve the pioneering drug as its safety advisory committee has already voted in favour of flibanserin’s approval, provided the manufacturer take certain steps to limit the pill's risks. It will be the third time that the FDA considers flibanserin, they had already rejected the drug twice since 2010.

Sprout Pharmaceutical has started a publicity campaign called Even the Score which takes pharmaceutical authorities to task for approving drugs that improve men's sex lives, but dragging their feet for the approval of drugs to help women.

Sources: cnbc.com, dailymail.co.uk

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