We begin with a little bit more controversy surrounding what some refer to as the little pink pill. A new study released today raises big questions about how well it works and whether or not it should have been approved for women to use it at all.
As many of us know, if you know anything about the history of this medication, it is called the Addyi, and that is a marketed name. The actual drug is called flibanserin. It took three tries to get people the Food and Drug Administration even to approve it at all. And it took 10 years to get it on the market. In the meantime, guys got their little blue pill in Viagra. As now we have nearly two dozen other medications all for male sexual problems now on the market. The sales of Addiy one have been slow and now this new study released today in the journal of the American Medical Association raises real questions about how effective the medication really is and whether the benefits outweigh some of the potentially serious side effects.
So we spent some time today talking to doctor Lisa Larkin, she is with the team at UC health of the Women’s Center. What we want to ask her about this meta-analysis saying that the benefits may outweigh the risk for women. This is what is called hypoactive sexual desire disorder or HSDD. The side effects include low blood pressure, dizziness, sleepiness, headaches, and nausea. But doctor Larkin said this analysis, this study, those side effects were actually magnified because the authors reviewed unpublished studies with doses that are not currently even approved for use by the FDA. Her opinion, this might be a bias in the reviewers that this condition is even a real diagnosis.
For me, I will tell you the side effect profile and when we look at the data really is not substantially different than many other medications that we have, that aren’t getting all of this dramatic scrutiny, which is why I think there is some politics that has come into this. So this goes back to, you know, really I think the validation of female sexual health as a priority.
Now there was a lot of concern initially that this would be over prescribed in ways that some say, you know, the men’s sexual dysfunction drugs were. That has not happened. Sales have really been slow in the office of this study said: “Well that’s proof it doesn’t work.”
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Doctor Logan says that’s not true. More than half the patients she is treated have continued on this medication with good results. I feel like this is a lot like I’m a dietitian and when we first started talking about nutritional ways to manage premenstrual syndrome. I actually had the health care providers in the meetings I was presented to get up and walk out. Tell me it didn’t exist. And you know there were guys in their defense have probably felt or the after effect in your home of it. Right now it’s kind of established that their biological changes in the body. I think that as we learn more about this will see that too.
But it does leave you confused as a woman, I think you should definitely have a talk with your doctor. And you know the doctors accept to be certified to prescribe it. And that’s part of the reason it is going slower. So it’s a good thing, we’re all learning a little bit more as we go.