Lady Viagara Gets the Yes or No Vote Today

by Lisa Kirchner

Reports coming out of the FDA don’t look good for Flibanserin, the drug that’s supposed to boost women’s libidos. Interestingly enough, the problem seems to be that the little blue pill doesn’t cause an increase in sexual desire, but in the number of “sexually satisfying events.” Firstly, let me be proud to report that I can banish this weirdo euphemism in favor of the word ORGASM. Secondly, what? This is a problem…why?

Before you get wound up about side effects, note–I’m not commenting on them. I used to write for a big drug manufacturer where it was well known that placebo takers reported side effects like headaches and fatigue, sometimes more than the control group. Sure, there’s the issue of drug companies creating placebos that mimic the known side effects of drugs, but now we’re going down the rabbit hole. You should take any prescription under a doctor’s supervision and monitor what’s happening. Most agree–today’s FDA would not approve penicillin. So let’s move on.

Still from Valley of the Dolls.

It seems to me that this is a genius off-label use of this as-yet-to-be-labeled drug. Or was this the original thinking?

“Franz,” some marketing guy would have said at the German company where this was made. “You know, maybe the women don’t want the sex because they are not getting enough of the satisfaction from it. The more they enjoy, the more they want. No?”

Apparently this has not been true for women suffering from hypoactive sexual desire disorder, women who, despite the increase in satisfaction, are not more inclined toward having sex. Also true, the orgasmic increase is not that great either. This is truly bad news and proves the oft-repeated point that the sex drive in women is comprised of many facets. But the question must be asked, dear reader, should the rest of us suffer because of this? Has this drug been tested on women who can and do orgasm with normal levels of sexual desire? Would said test come with a willing, fellow participant? Can I sign up for this test?

Meanwhile, other drug companies are rushing to create alternatives. Let us hope then that Something Wicked This Way Comes.


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