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As the FDA considers whether to approve flibanserin, a 'pink Viagra' for women, critics insist the drug was devised to profit from a non-existent disorder.

The drug, from Sprout Pharmaceuticals, is meant to enhance sexual desire and decrease emotional distress in women with hypoactive sexual desire disorder (HSDD).

While the FDA recognizes HSDD as an unmet medical need, women's groups and others maintain that low sexual desire in women has several different origins, including clumsy lovers. They also question the drugs efficacy, based on women's written evaluations, which are obviously very subjective.

Unlike Viagra, which increases blood flow to the genitals, flibanserin works on receptors in the brain. It was initially developed as an antidepressant but failed to produce the desired results. It was rejected by the FDA in 2009, but Sprout has appealed the ruling.

The numbers suggest that flibanserin is barely more effective than a placebo in increasing 'satisfying sexual experiences' for women. And of course, there are side effects. Flibanserin can cause fainting and is sedating when taken with alcohol. Further, the drug must be taken every day.

In a poll taken at a popular women's blog, readers were asked whether they would consider taking a drug evry day that only resulted in one extra sexual experience per month. Of 88 responses, 77 answered No.

What do you think? Do women need their own Viagra, or should they focus on elements of their lives that impair libido?

 

 

 

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