In August of this year, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced the approval of "Addyi," a pill some are calling the "Female Viagra." This drug, which is produced by Sprout Pharmaceuticals, had previously been rejected a few times by the US FDA for some safety concerns and also for not being as effective as it should be, from a clinical perspective. With this said Sprout Pharmaceuticals added further risk information to the product after which the product was approved.
Side Effects of Addyi
Addyi is used to treat pre-menopausal women with hypoactive sexual desire disorder, which in short, means women who have lower libido. This is the first drug on the market to treat sexual desire disorders and is only available to the women through certified health care professionals and certified pharmacies. As with all drugs, there are potential side effects. The FDA has highlighted several side-effects (rather-concerning, in my opinion) that may occur due to Addyi: severely low blood pressure and loss of consciousness (due to fall in blood pressure), which can become more severe in patients drinking alcohol or certain medications that can interfere with Addyi. Liver impairment and the use of alcohol with Addyi is contraindicated for this drug. Also, before a patient can use the drug, they are counseled by a certified pharmacist about the potential side effects in order to mitigate any risk to the patient. The drug is to be taken daily and if no increase in sexual desire occurs after 8 weeks, then patients are to discontinue taking Addyi. In the clinical studies, the common adverse reactions associated with this drug were dizziness, somnolence (sleepiness), nausea, fatigue, insomnia and dry mouth.
Health Risks of Addyi
With all of the potential side effects of Addyi (some of which are highly concerning), one begs the question: Are there any safe alternatives that could be used instead of Addyi? The answer is YES. There are several natural ingredients that have been used to help increase and improve sexual desire. For example, Tribulus terrestris (common name: Tribulus) has been used traditionally in Ayurvedic Medicine as an aphrodisiac in men, a health claim recognized by Health Canada. The risk information indicated for this ingredient advises that pregnant women should not use products with Tribulus and it should not be used in people with hypotension (low blood pressure) or with an allergy to this ingredient. Additionally, Lepidium meyenii (common name: Maca) is also known to provide support for emotional aspects of sexual health, which is a relevant factor for sexual desire. Maca is also recognized by Health Canada for the noted claim. The risk information indicated for this ingredient suggests consulting with a health care professional if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, taking antidepressants, blood thinners or have high blood pressure, or if you are suffering from a psychological disorder. Interestingly, Health Canada has not indicated any contraindications for Maca or known adverse reactions.
Vitarock offers several natural health products that may help with sexual desire (for women) such as: HerbaMax for women (contains both Maca and Tribulus, among other natural ingredients that may support sexual desire), Big Life Living SEXUAL HEALTH for Women (Vanilla or Chocolate), again containing key ingredients Tribulus and Maca, and Orange Naturals Libido for Women (a homeopathic remedy for the temporarily relief of female sexually-related symptoms).