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‘Female Viagra’ Approved by FDA, Despite Concerns Over Side-Effects

Addyi, the first ever prescription medication intended to increase libido in women, has been approved by the Federal Drug Administration, although it has been rejected twice in earlier trials. Addyi is labelled with some controversy because some believe the decision to approve it was largely influenced by marketing orchestrated by the drug’s company, Sprout Pharmaceuticals. Critics say the company used the public’s demand for a female equivalent to Viagra as leverage for approval.

Addyi was rejected in the past by the FDA for unconvincing benefits to compensate for the numerous side effects. The side effects continue to be a concern for the women taking Addyi; Sprout Pharmaceuticals require doctors that are prescribing Addyi to first complete an online certification test, as well as keep records of side effects reported by patients.

Addyi is known for causing adverse reactions when mixed with alcohol and certain drugs, which may be problematic for some women’s lifestyle given that Addyi is a daily medication. Addyi’s most common adverse effect is low pressure and fainting.

Criticism of Sprout Pharmaceuticals has been for arguably exploiting third and fourth wave sex-positive feminist movements to gain support for the approval of Addyi. Originally an anti-depressant drug, it is not fully understood why the drug may increase sexual desire.

Researchers include the increased levels of dopamine (a compound associated with appetite), together with the lowering of serotonin (linked with sensations of fullness) in their explanations. There are well known and documented concerns over taking the medication, and the experts researching Addyi’s effects have labelled the level of desired effects for women as only “modest.”

About Erin Picard

Erin Picard
Erin is a psychology student, amateur photographer, crocheter, and avid pop culture aficionado. Interesting conversations and writing topics for her are widespread: from the correlation of depression with increased use of social media outlets to how awful the series finale of 'Lost' was.