FDA approves flibanserin, ‘female Viagra’ pill

The Food and Drug Administration approved a so-called “female Viagra” pill Tuesday, saying it wanted to offer an option to women with sexual dysfunction, a decision that disappointed doctors and advocates who said the drug didn’t work safely enough to justify approval. “Today’s approval provides women distressed by their low sexual desire with an approved treatment option,” said Dr. Janet Woodcock, director of the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research.

The drug, which will be sold under the brand name Addyi, is known generically as flibanserin. It works by changing how brain cells respond to various message carrying chemicals called neurotransmitters, with the aim of changing a woman’s sexual desire over time. FDA advisers had recommended in June that the agency approve the drug, but the FDA doesn’t always do what its committees advise.

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