After a ton of controversy, the female libido pill Addyi is finally available by prescription, which means that studies of patients using Addyi are starting to trickle in. One such study, which pooled the data of eight different studies totaling 5,900 patients taking it, found that they reported only an additional "one-half of one satisfying sexual encounter a month" using Addyi. In other words, it didn't even provide an average of one extra really good sex sesh a month.
Ironically, one extra satisfying sexual encounter a month was all the makers of Addyi needed to get it approved by the FDA. It was previously rejected twice, but last year, after coming up with clinical trials that showed women experienced an average of one extra satisfying sexual encounter per month, in addition to the two-to-three they were already having, Addyi got its approval. Clinical trials also demonstrated that Addyi increased levels of desire — but only by a measure of .3 points on a scale from 1.2 to 6.0. Plus, side effects of the drug include dizziness, sleepiness, nausea, and fatigue, and the side effects can be heightened if you're consuming alcohol while taking Addyi.
"In a statement, Dr. Tage Ramakrishna, the chief medical officer at Valeant, the company that now owns the drug, said that the new analysis confirmed the findings of the clinical trials and 'provided little additional context.' He said the way the analysis was done, combining data from a number of different studies, carried 'less statistical weight' than the randomized trials."
Proponents of the drug claim that it's "a step towards equality" in women taking control of their sexual desire, much like men are afforded the ability to with Viagra. But that logic doesn't really hold up because...Viagra works completely differently than Addyi, which is similar to an anti-depressant. Shilling a product to women that's barely effective and has burdensome side-effects is not the same thing as having reliable boner-producer Viagra on hand when you need it. Yes, of course, it's more difficult to pharmacologically generate arousal for women, but that just means we have to put more science into it. Not sell an extra-half-strength-orgasm-per-month-producing pill because it's the best we can do and call it equality.
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