Viagra for women - FDA one step closer to approving it

The female Viagra is one step closer to your medicine cabinet.

But it's completely different from the "little blue pill." In Health Works we're looking at how the little pink pill would work for women.

 It doesn't increase blood flow like Viagra, but it changes brain chemistry and that's why getting approval has been a tough fight.           

A Food and Drug Administration panel approved the sale of a pill, Flibanserin, designed to improve female sex drive.  It's being touted as a "female Viagra."

"What this actually does is it enhances the female's desire to have sex," said Dr. Kerri Peterson, Lenox Hill Hospital. "It impacts the brain. The neuro transmitters in the brain that are responsible for sexual desire. 

"It enhances their libido and also in studies it has increased the number of sexual events."

Previously the FDA rejected the drug over safety issues. But after hearing emotional testimony from women suffering from a low sex drive, the committee changed its mind.

Doctors are exactly sure what causes low libido in women. It can be aging but it also effects all age groups. 

Unlike men's Viagra - which is taken on a as-needed basis, this drug would be taken on a nightly basis to work on the brain chemistry. 

Women who want the female Viagra, will have to get a prescription from their doctor. And doctors warn there are some unpleasant side effects.

"The known side effects are nausea, fainting, sleepiness, and a potential interaction with alcohol," Peterson said.

Decision from the FDA on whether or not to approve the drug is expected to be issued by the end of the August.
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