Looks like women with female sexual dysfunction (FSD) will be waiting a bit longer for a cure. The "pink pill" was rejected last week by a panel of Food and Drug Administration advisors who claim that the pill's benefits were not worth the side effects. These effects included fatigue, depression and fainting spells.
As part of the search for a drug that improves women's sexual health, specifically those who suffer from female sexual dysfunction, this drug does not appear to be beneficial enough to be approved by the panel. The drug, actually an antidepressant, was supposed to help improve female sexual libido and be a step in curing FSD. Flibanserin (attractive name, eh?) acts on serotonin and was originally studied for depression therapy. When women reported increased sexual satisfaction, it was repurposed to the FDA for approval as a libido drug.
Since Viagra launched in 1998, experimental therapies have been launched to improve and perhaps even cure "female sexual dysfunction."
Attempts have been made to provide Viagra to women and create drugs for women that can improve sexual satisfaction. Intrinsa, a testosterone patch created by Procter & Gamble, was rejected by the FDA in 2004 because it's long term use risks were unknown. Hormone replacement therapy was completely challenged entirely as studies began to show that it correlated with heart disease and some forms of cancer.
It raises the question: is there no hope for a female Viagra? Some believe that spending so much money on a drug that continues to be rejected because of health risks may no longer be worth pursuing financially. Others feel that the market for women with sexual dissatisfaction is too big to give up. An estimated $2 billion dollar industry may be just around the corner, with more research and testing.
At the end of the day, the question of what a pill can conceivably do for women remains. If a drug can improve sexual satisfaction, it may be a miracle. Most studies have suggested that emotional and psychological factors are tied into female sexual dysfunction - will a pill be able to actually cure FSD? Or will there simply be medicines that help with symptoms? Either way, it's important for scientists to continue to study what is best for women and their sexual health!