FDA approves new drug to treat low sexual desire in women

FDA approves new drug to treat low sexual desire in women

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — On Friday, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the drug Vyleesi. It’s used to treat women who experience low sexual desire. 

Vyleesi is marketed as an easy to use medication for women that comes in a little pink box. 

It’s injected into the body 45 minutes before sex and lasts for up to 8 hours, according its makers AMAG Pharmaceuticals. 

In clinical trials, about 25% of women said their sexual desire went up, according to the FDA. 

Friday’s approval is what many women have been waiting for. 

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After all, Viagra hit the market 20 years ago. 

But, Dr. Valerie Omicioli, a gynecologist at IU Health, cautions people who compare this drug to Viagra. 

Viagra and drugs like it physically allow for a man to have sex, she says. 

Vyleesi treats the lack of desire to have sex.

Dr. Omicioli says it works by treating neurotransmitters in the brain to mimic women with normal desire. 

Still, low sexual desire is difficult to diagnosis. 

“It needs to be present for a period of time, usually we say six months and not attributable to other causes like issues with your relationship, medications you take, depression, anxiety or other causes that can also be associated with low desire. Or also frankly simply fatigue. If a woman has a couple of children at home, works a full-time job, by 10 at night she would rather sleep than have sex,” said Dr. Omicioli. 

Vyleesi is not the first FDA approved drug to treat low sexual desire. The drug Addyi was approved in 2015. 

It never took off largely because it’s a daily pill and women are advised not to drink while taking it. 

News 8 also spoke with Dr. Maria Hanzlik, a clinical psychologist in Indianapolis who treats women with low sexual desire. She says not even Viagra is guaranteed to work in a man with underlying issues. 

For women, it’s even more complex.

Dr. Hanzlik challenges anyone looking for a wonder drug to first define what ‘better sex’ means to them.