Viagra for Women

So Viagra is not the answer to an increased female libido, maybe there is a version for women with similar results?

Published: Monday 27 June 2016

Viagra for Women

Viagra’s revolutionary influence on lifestyle is just as strong as ever. A medication for erectile dysfunction in men, half the population is missing out. Can women use Viagra? While the drug is nothing short of revolutionary for men, it remains unsuitable for women. Extensive research concludes it is unclear if the medication is safe for women to use, due to the long-term effects and side effects it has on the female body. Trials studying the effect of Viagra on women for period pains and fertility are ongoing but it may take a few years before we see the results of these clinical studies. 

So Viagra is not the answer to an increased female libido, maybe there is a version for women with similar results? Medications sold as ‘female Viagra’ are usually herbal supplements for which there is no evidence to support that they enhance the female sex drive. Predox, sold legitimately by UK food stores and pharmacies, is a contender for the title of ‘female Viagra’ but there is also a lack of practical clinical evidence surrounding the efficacy of this drug. 

Another pill that has borrowed the tag-line of ‘female Viagra’ is Flibanserin or Addyi, useless for its original purpose as an antidepressant. Unlike real Viagra, which increases the blood flow to the penis in men, this controversial medication manufactured by Sprout Pharmaceuticals boosts ‘feel good’ chemicals serotonin and dopamine in the brain to increase sexual desire. Recently FDA-approved, it is not the holy-grail of libido revitalisation it may appear to be. In fact, its modest effect is not worth the severity of the side effects including fainting, vomiting, dizziness and low blood pressure that come as a package deal. Also, Viagra works in just an hour while Addyi takes months of regular treatment before showing minimal results. 

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) rejected the drug twice before feminist campaign groups such as Even the Score strong-armed and shamed them into approving it the third time around. Despite the medication being ‘marginally’ libido boosting, the market has greeted the newcomer with lukewarm applause. Sales have been rather anticlimactic and Addyi is not widely available in the UK. The drug may be close to useless as both an antidepressant and a sexual desire booster, but one thing can be said for it: it has furthered the race to female equality - marginally.

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