FDA Votes to Approve Female Libido Drug Addyi

Drug is first of its kind aimed at women.

ByABC News
August 18, 2015, 6:55 PM

— -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved a first of its kind drug aimed at improving the female libido.

The drug called Addyi (flibanserin) is designed to help pre-menopausal women with hypoactive sexual desire disorder (HSDD) and had been rejected twice by the FDA’s expert panel. Experts had concerns that some of the risks of the drug outweighed the benefits.

While sometimes referred to as the “female Viagra,” the drug is notably different from the drug, which targets erectile dysfunction, a physiological problem. Flibanserin instead targets actual libido and sex drive.

] text=[FDA Votes to Approve Drug Aimed at Female Libido]/>

Early studies found that the drug helped women have more “satisfying sexual events,” but women on the drug also faced rare but serious side effects including nausea, dizziness, fatigue and fainting, according to the summary released by the FDA.

Gynecologist Dr. Lauren Streicher explained to ABC News that the drug targets an issue far more complicated than erectile dysfunction and one that can have long-lasting effects on a patient.

HSDD "is a very specific problem in a woman who doesn't think about sex, she doesn't fantasize, she doesn't desire sex," Streicher told ABC News last year.

"What makes it different is that it's distressing to her. This has a negative impact on her. She's worried about it, she's frustrated."

ABC News' Lana Zak contributed to this report.