EMERGENCY WOMEN’S HEALTH ALERT ON ADDYI
The New Sex Drug for Women
The National Women’s Health Network is warning all women about the health risks of the new “pink pill” – known as flibanserin and branded as Addyi – alleged to boost female libido. Rather than rely on drug company marketing, NWHN recommends that women educate themselves and pass on the pink pill.
A pharmaceutical giant known for price gouging and shady business practices paid $1 billion in cash last August to market the drug to millions of American women with “acquired generalized hypoactive sexual desire disorder”. While some women do suffer from sexual dysfunction, Addyi is not a safe solution.
The drug is so ineffective, and has such dangerous side effects, that the FDA rejected it twice, before caving in to pressure, orchestrated by the drug company, to approve a sex drug for women because men have Viagra. The pink pill is NOT a female Viagra. It is so risky that only doctors and pharmacists who are specially trained and certified can prescribe and dispense it, and women must sign a statement taking responsibility for following their doctor’s exact orders. Addyi has a high risk of side effects that include passing out, especially with alcohol.
Here’s what every woman should know about the pink pill.
THE NWHN “PASS ON THE PINK PILL” WARNINGS
1. Addyi barely works, if at all. The pink pill doesn’t work for most women: 9 in 10 report no benefit. Boosting women’s desire, the point of the drug, is minimal. Instead, the drug maker promotes an increase in sex, but only an average of an extra one-half of a “sexually satisfying event” per month. These rare “events” do not necessarily include a partner or an orgasm.
2. Addyi medicates a woman’s brain and must be taken daily. More like an antidepressant than Viagra, Addyi is not taken just before sex to boost desire. It is designed to impact mood and because it effects brain chemistry, must be ingested daily. It has no impact on sexual performance or pleasure and takes weeks or months for a woman to know if it works.
3. Addyi’s side effects include sedation, dizziness, low blood pressure and unconsciousness. These can be so severe that women must promise in writing to take it only at bedtime, so that if they faint, they will already be in bed. Women should not drive or do anything that requires clear thinking for at least six hours after taking Addyi. Other common side effects include fatigue, nausea, insomnia and dry mouth.
4. Addyi requires total abstinence from alcohol. Fainting and severe drops in blood pressure are an even higher risk with alcohol, and because the pill is taken daily, women on Addyi must sign a pledge to stop drinking completely.
5. Addyi is for pre-menopausal women only. Even though loss of libido is most common among middle-aged and older women, this drug was not designed to help them. Younger women are eligible for a prescription – but only if they are not breastfeeding and are sure not to get pregnant on Addyi.
6. Only women with low libido who are “markedly distressed” or having “interpersonal difficulty” are allowed a prescription. Doctors must screen out women who may have a physical disorder but are not deeply troubled by it. They are allowed to prescribe it for women who aren’t bothered by low libido personally but report relationship problems, with the potential for a male partner to pressure a woman to take the drug to have more sex than she wants to.
7. Addyi cannot help women who take many common antidepressants. If a woman’s low libido is due to taking SSRI antidepressants, such as Prozac, Zoloft, Lexapro or Paxil, Addyi won’t work.
8. Addyi does not help women with certain hormone-impacting diseases. If low libido is due to diabetes, thyroid problems, liver disease, high cholesterol or other conditions, Addyi can’t help.
9. Addyi can interact poorly with certain birth control pills. Unpleasant side effects like dizziness, sleepiness and fatigue may be worse for women using hormonal contraception.
10. Addyi interacts badly with certain prescription medications, herbal supplements and juice. In particular, women taking the pink pill must abstain from common antibiotics like CIPRO and erythromycin, certain medications to treat migraines and yeast infections, and supplements such as St. John’s Wort and gingko. Drinking grapefruit juice significantly increases your likelihood of passing out on Addyi.
To learn more, go to the National Women’s Health Network’s Pass on the Pink Pill campaign website at www.nwhn.org.
Adverse reactions to Addyi should be reported to the Federal Drug Administration at www.FDA.gov/medwatch or call 1-800-FDA-1088.