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Slow Uptake of Women’s Libido-Boosting Pill

In contrast to sildenafil, only 227 prescriptions written for flibanserin in first few weeks

FRIDAY, Nov. 20, 2015 (HealthDay News) — Uptake of the women’s libido-boosting pill flibanserin (Addyi) has been slow since its approval, according to a report published by Bloomberg Business.

Noting that more than half a million men got prescriptions for sildenafil (Viagra) in its first month on the market in 1998, the report highlights the slow uptake of the women’s libido-boosting pill flibanserin, with only 227 prescriptions written in the first few weeks.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved flibanserin on Aug. 18, 2015, on condition that doctors get certified to prescribe it, necessitating a short online training. About 1 percent of obstetricians and gynecologists and primary care physicians have been certified. The drug is approved for premenopausal women with hypoactive sexual-desire disorder. Potential barriers to use could include the restriction on alcohol while taking the pill, and the fact that flibanserin does not work like sexual-dysfunction pills for men, but rather has to be built up over time.

“There’s been a lot of skepticism about this particular drug, from both women and their clinicians,” Alina Salganicoff, vice president and director of women’s health programs at the Kaiser Family Foundation in Menlo Park, Calif., said in a statement.

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