Monday, June 8, 2015

Stop Calling Flibanserin "Female Viagra

"A drug to treat low libido in women is on track for approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Yesterday afternoon, an advisory panel voted to recommend approval of the drug in question, flibanserin, Rob Stein reports for NPR. While the FDA doesn't have to follow their advice, most of the time they do.

Though some have questioned the drug’s effectiveness, flibanserin has been nicknamed by many media outlets as "Viagra for women." But, there's one key problem with that characterization: The two drugs work in completely different ways.
Viagra works by increasing blood flow to the genitals. In contrast, flibanserin's target lies in the brain, as Clare Wilson reports for New Scientist. In animal studies, it increases levels of two neurotransmitter molecules in the brain: dopamine, which controls the brain's reward pathways, and norepinephrine, the hormone that helps the brain focus in stressful situations. At the same time, the drug causes a decrease in levels of serotonin, the so-called "happiness" hormone. Researchers aren't entirely sure why this combination of chemical levels results in an increased libido, but studies suggest that it does..."
Flibanserin

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