An excellent expose of the power of lobbying by the pharmaceutical companies to push the so called “Female Viagra”.
The Side Effects of “Female Viagra”:
One in five women in clinical trials experienced central nervous system depression (sedation, fatigue, “sudden unconsciousness”, and extreme sleepiness) equivalent to drinking four alcoholic drinks.
Accidental injuries associated with central nervous system depression occurred more than twice as often in flibanserin-treated women as in the placebo group and 16% suffered from symptomatic low blood pressure.
In addition, flibanserin interactions with drugs commonly used by perimenopausal women, like birth-control pills and anti-fungals, lead to even higher rates of sudden unconsciousness, low blood pressure and dizziness.
It Doesn’t Work:
It has not demonstrated an increase in sexual desire in any of the research studies. In the 2012 Daisy Study, over 1,000 pre-menopausal women were asked to record their libido levels in an eDiary. No group showed a significant increase in eDiary desire score vs. the placebo group.
What they did report was a lessening of distress with their low libido. They were asked to rate their sexual encounters as satisfying or not. This drug was passed because women reported 1 more satisfying sexual encounter per month than they had experienced before.
Please consider that before the study they didn’t have any hope of having libido. With the study they were willing to have sex as a homework assignment…boom…libido barrier overcome and now they are having sex and grading the encounters.
This didn’t actually help their libido (as the study points out), it gave them homework… “have sex and tell us how it was for you”.
That in and of itself is one of the most powerful cures for low libido there is…be willing to experience desire after you start getting aroused. No side effects with that intervention and do you recognize the power of the placebo effect here?
ALL of the studies done on this drug have been paid for by Sprout Pharmaceuticals. Even then, the risks outweighed the benefits.
Taking the recommended dose of 100 mg every night is like drinking 4 alcoholic drinks. When combined with alcohol, oral contraceptive pills, anti-fungal medications, anti-hypertensive medications, and many other medications, this liver effect is potentiated by 7 times.
If Viagra was contra-indicated with alcohol, as Flibanserin is, I question if the uptake would have been so exceptional. (Christina’s insert)
It Does Not Address The Root Cause of Low Libido:
In the HURT Study (Healing Un-Resolved Trauma), 5 root causes were found to be the foundation of low libido in women (Ewers, K. (2014). An integrative medicine approach to the treatment of HSDD: introducing the HURT Model. Sexual and Relationship Therapy, Vol. 29 (1),42-55).
The 5 root causes are physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual—or found in her Libido Story® somewhere in her Libido Map®. For most women, there is a combination of root causes that creates the low libido she experiences.
Believing that a one size fits all pill will permanently alleviate such a complex issue is short sighted and potentially very dangerous.
It Masks The Real Problems
Offering a pill to women for low libido is really focusing on the wrong issue. Are all women engaging sexually for the same reasons? Is their desire limited to only sex? Is passion contained only in the sexual act? I have never met a woman in my clinical practice that would say yes to these questions.
The placebo effect is powerful. If women get a prescription from their medical providers for Flibanserin and rush home thinking that all of their desire and passion issues will be fixed, they will be sorely disappointed.
Self-awareness, self-confrontation, good (if not great) communication, healthy boundaries, proper self-care practices…these are all of the important ingredients for intimacy a one size fits all magic pill theory ignores.
And finally one more reason.
This marketing campaign that has been undertaken to target women who are suffering from a very real issue is insulting to women’s intelligence. It’s being marketed as “the pink Viagra”. Viagra is used for male erectile dysfunction, not male libido issues. Erections are about a physiological issue involving the penis. This is interesting to me that a company that sells a medication for female sexual desire would actually be that illogical in their marketing strategy. But the frightening aspect to all of this is that no one is pointing this out from the consumer side of things.
Yes, Viagra works to make a penis erect. The logic is that by pairing the word Viagra, which consumers have an immediate and fairly positive association with, with a drug that has nothing to do with penile erections and is unsafe, it will make female consumers feel safe and even hopeful that they now have their version of Viagra.
No! Stop the train! This is not the same issue. Please do not associate Flibanserin with Viagra. They don’t do the same thing, they are not meant to do the same thing, and they should not be put in the same marketing slogan.
Dr. Keesha Ewers, Chief Medical Officer
The Functional Sexology Institute
If you suffer from low libido and would like to discuss with a sex therapist please phone Christina for a
free 10 min consultation on 0435 438 899