'Female Viagra' hits store shelves - Cleveland 19 News Cleveland, OH

'Female Viagra' hits store shelves

Addyi, the newly FDA-approved drug to treat sexual desire in women, is unlike Viagra in that it targets not a physical problem but a neurological one. (Source: CNN) Addyi, the newly FDA-approved drug to treat sexual desire in women, is unlike Viagra in that it targets not a physical problem but a neurological one. (Source: CNN)
CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) -

Saturday will be the first day the so called "Women's Viagra" will be available to pre-menopausal women. This is the first FDA-approved prescription drug to treat a condition called low sexual desire disorder. Yes, there is actually a name for it, other than low libido.

It's characterized as you would think: low or no sex drive. We’re not just talking about not being "in the mood," it’s more of such a lack of desire it causes distress. It's estimated low sexual desire disorder affects up to one-third of adult women in the U.S.

"A lot of women, after they're done reproducing, they don't have that spontaneous urge and they think there's something wrong with them. But they're still responsive and still have a good relationship. And those people are normal women and don't necessarily need treatment, but there's a sub-set of women who are very distressed," explained Dr. Holly Thacker, a women’s health expert at the Cleveland Clinic

Thacker says there are a number of physical, medical, or psychological issues that can cause problems with sexual function. Most types of sexual disfunction can be resolved by treating an underlying physical or psychological problem.

But for many, the new drug option Flibanserin, also coined as the "little pink pill" is the first to treat the condition by changing a woman's brain chemistry to increase her interest in sex.

It has to be taken every day, not only when the moment is right. 

"If someone just wants an aphrodisiac and they're really a normal woman with normal sexual function and desire and performance, that's not what this is. This is for people who are totally distressed, who had a good sexual relationship, who are in a good relationship, but the switch just went off," said Thacker. 

Research shows some women experienced about one extra satisfying sexual event per month while taking the drug. 

Warning: There are side effects reported, like lightheadedness, dizziness and occasional fainting. It’s also important to know that women taking the drug are advised not to drink alcohol.  

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