July 19, 2019

The Problem with the "Female Viagra"

“In March 1998, the FDA gave its seal of approval to the erectile dysfunction medication Viagra and, ever since, pharmaceutical companies have been trying to develop a female counterpart.

But while Viagra tackles the mechanical end of men’s sexual dissatisfaction, increasing blood flow in order to assist and maintain erections, the search for its female counterpart has not usually focused on the similarly mechanical, often debilitating conditions affecting women, like vaginismus, chronic dryness or dyspareunia‎. Instead, pharmaceutical research has focused on increasing the female libido, offering a solution for a condition frequently referred to as hypoactive sexual desire disorder.

Then, 17 years after Viagra hit the market (and just four year ago), that dream was finally realized in the form of Addyi (generically known as flibanserin). Although it was marketed as a “pink Viagra,” Addyi’s target is the brain, because it claims to actually increase the female libido.”

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