What Does Female Viagra Look Like? The Little Pink Pill Is Coming Your Way Soon

On Tuesday, the Food and Drug Administration announced it finally approved a new drug, flibanserin, to treat a low libido disorder in women. It has been a long battle to get a treatment for women approved that stacks up to the erectile dysfunction medications that have been readily available for men for many years. But what does female Viagra actually look like?

Sprout Pharmaceuticals, the manufacturers of flibanserin, which goes by the brand name Addyi, kept it simple and went with pink. In addition to being hot pink, Addyi is about the size and shape of the average multivitamin, and is imprinted with the characters "F100." Sprout even has a color-themed hotline number where people can get information about the drug: 1-844-Pink-Pill.

The story behind Sprout Pharmaceuticals is an interesting one. After the drug was shelved by other manufacturers, pharmaceutical executive Cindy Whitehead took it on as a cause, she told Fast Company. Whitehead and her husband sold their existing company to form Sprout and dedicated themselves to continuing the research into flibanserin in order to bring it to market. The FDA rejected Sprout's application in 2013, and when the company decided to challenge the decision, that's when the battle drew the attention of the media. From that point on, the little pink pill was on everyone's radar, from health professionals to women's rights groups, and it wasn't going away.

"For too long, we have wanted to say, 'Women are so complex, sex is complex.' Sex is complex whether I am a man or a woman," Whitehead told Wired magazine. Sprout backed a petition campaign called Even the Score, which posited that failing to approve a female Viagra amounted to gender bias. The FDA strongly refuted that suggestion, The New York Times reported, noting that it had made female sexual dysfunction a priority for the agency as far back as 2012.

Flibanserin still has its share of critics, and some in the medical community are concerned about how it might interact with other medications and the risk of low blood pressure. It was originally created as an antidepressant but has an effect on the parts of the brain that control sexual desire. Patients are strongly cautioned against drinking alcohol while taking the medication, and as part of its approval, the FDA is requiring a special training program for pharmacies and health care professionals who prescribe it.

So come October, after a long and winding road, for the many women who suffer from low sexual desire dysfunctions, the little pink pill will finally bring some blue skies.

Images: Sprout Pharmaceuticals (1)