FDA Approves New ''Female Viagra'' -- Is A Pill The Best Cure for Low Sex Desire?

FDA Approves New ''Female Viagra'' -- Is A Pill The Best Cure for Low Sex Desire?880
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The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) officially approved on Friday the sale of Vyleesi, a new drug to combat with the low sexual desire among premenopausal women.

Chemically known as bremelanotide, Vyleesi is a synthetic hormone targeting the pathways in the female brain that are involved in sexual desire. 

The drug, developed by Palatin Technologies and licensed to Amag Pharmaceuticals, hits the U.S. market in September. Vyleesi is not a sole player on this niche market. It will compete with Addyi, a once-daily pill that was approved for sale in 2015. 

Julie Krop, chief medical officer for Amag Pharmaceuticals Inc., the license holder, explained that Vyleesi is administered as a shot into the abdomen or thigh using a self-injector at least 45 minutes before anticipated intimacy. 

The FDA acknowledged the lack of sufficient proves on how exactly Vyleesi acts in the human brain to increase sexual desire or affect distress. Therefore, the drug regulator recommends patients not to take more than eight doses of Vyleesi per month and not to take more than a single dose within 24 hours.

FDA also warned women who are suffering from high blood pressure or heart disease to restrain from trying the drug as, during the clinical trials, the researchers observed increases in blood pressure. Furthermore, women with alcohol or opioid dependence should also not use it, the FDA said.

Female participants in Vyleesi's clinical trials reported tolerable side effects, among which mild to moderate nausea. It occurred over the first three doses, the women said, highlighting it lasted no more than two hours.

They also pointed out several advantages of Vyleesi over its competitor, Addyi. In addition to that, the new "female Viagra" does not restrict alcohol use and does not have to be taken daily.

According to Dr. Julia Johnson, a reproductive specialist at UMass Memorial Medical Center who did not take part in the research group, the most significant advantage of the new drug is that you can take it only when you need it. On the other side, continued Dr. Johnson, some squeamish people can be reluctant to use it as it is a shot.

Amag Pharmaceuticals did not reveal any information about the price. The license holder also did not clarify whether Vyleesi would be covered by the health insurance companies.

The condition that Vyleesi claims to help with is widely known as hypoactive sexual desire disorder. It is a cause of long-term controversies among the U.S. medical community.  Moreover, according to some psychologists, the decreased sex drive is not a medical problem.

The pharmaceutical industry disagreed, referring to the latest surveys which showed that it is a widespread sexual disorder among the U.S. women, affecting 1 in 10 women on average. Nearly 6 million U.S. women meet the requirements for taking the drug, the pharmaceutical industry reported.

What do you think? Do you agree or disagree that the low sexual desire among women is not a medical condition?