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Published on : Jun 04, 2015

The first of its kind ‘female Viagra’ on Thursday afternoon came one step close to being brought into the market after a major advisory committee to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) voted to recommend its approval on certain conditions.

The advisory committee voted 18 to 6 in favor of recommending that the FDA approve flibanserin. Flibanserin, or ‘female Viagra’ as everyone is dubbing the pill, is a drug that is designed to increase low sexual desire in women who are otherwise healthy. 

In most cases, the FDA follows the recommendations made by the advisory committee. But this isn’t always the case. The pending decision on the approval of the drug is expected to be announced at the end of this summer. The agency has already decided against the drug twice before this, citing potential side effects as the reason. Intake of flibanserin could lead to nausea, fainting, sleepiness, dizziness, and low blood pressure – a fact that outweighs its benefits. Even at the meeting on Thursday afternoon, the advisory committee did describe the benefits of the pill as “marginal” or “moderate”.

The afternoon was spent by women recounting their emotional testimony on their low sexual desire. The condition is called Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder and the advisory committee, after hearing the testimonies, said that even though the drug has moderate benefits, it should be made available to women, with proper education and warning labels, who presently have nothing.

One practitioner said that when she was asked for help by her parents, “This is all I can tell them.”

Some of the women who expressed their stories on Thursday said that it was as if a switch had been turned off in their systems. They did not understand why they didn’t want to have sex anymore and found it distressing.