Summary of the female Viagra – “Addyi”

By | April 29, 2016

Few months ago drug administration department of America approved a drug called Flibanserin as a treatment for low sexual desire in women before menopause. It is marketed as “Addyi”. It is immediately labeled as Female Viagra, Pink Viagra by over-enthusiastic public. When Viagra was launched for the first time in 1998, it had more than half million prescriptions. The number of prescriptions for Addyi, the women’s libido-boosting pill, in its first few week – 227. 

Lack of sex desire in women in India is due to –

  • Her home – heavy household duties, rearing children, having no children, having more children, and most important having no privacy for sex
  • Her husband – not able to do good sex, alcohol-cigar smelling, not caring or understanding, has other women in life
  • Herself – effects of having a disease, the drugs she is taking

Almost all of the women with lack of desire will have one of these problems. Very few have a medical reason for not having sexual desire. The drug is meant for these few people only. Addyi is similar to an antidepressant, targeting neurotransmitters such as dopamine and norepinephrine that communicate information throughout the mind and body and can affect mood.

Viagra helps men who can’t get erections, by increasing blood flow to the penis. It acts in an hour and can to be taken whenever a man needs sex. But Flibanserin is to be taken daily, starts working after 15- 30 days and has to be taken once a day continuously over a long term (30 days in a month even if you have sex few times in a month). The effect is temporary and after a month of stopping the drug, the problem remains as it is. 

After taking the drug – the woman`s sex desire and her frequency of sex won’t increase. Satisfying sexual experience will be more by twice a month, than their experience before taking the drug (satisfaction will be more by once in a month even if an empty capsule without a drug is given to them by a good doctor – called placebo effect.). The net result is only – one satisfying sex in a month more than what they are having before treatment.

Women on these tablets can have reeling sensation, sleepiness, and dry mouth. Alcohol if taken while on treatment can lead to a dangerous BP fall.

The effects of the drug are minimal and severe side effects are more. The safety of the drug on a pregnant woman, on a breastfeeding mother or on a woman using family planning pills is not known. What will happen to her periods and whether it affects her fertility is unknown.

And the cost – as on now the drug costs as Rs. 50,000 a month. Is any woman willing to have a psychiatric drug with many side effects by spending Rs 50,000 that too- not for a permanent cure?