So Is That New 'Female Viagra' a Good Thing or a Bad Thing?

Q: So is that new "female viagra" a good thing or a bad thing?

OZ Says: The main controversy is over whether the benefits are worth the side effects. Before I get into that, though, you need to know that this pill is completely different from Viagra. The women's drug, Addyi (flibanserin), is designed to help treat low libido in women who had desire, lost it, and are bothered by that. It works on brain chemicals. Viagra, on the other hand, helps men perform when they're already aroused by improving blood flow to the penis.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

The Concerns

Addyi gives women an average of only one extra "sexually satisfying event" per month, and it can come with side effects like dizziness, sleepiness, and nausea. "I'm not impressed with the results, considering the side effects," says Janifer Tropez-Martin, M.D., of Tulane University School of Medicine. The worst — low blood pressure and fainting — are enhanced by alcohol, so you're not supposed to drink while taking it. Considering that it's a daily pill (it's not just a "toss one back before sex" kind of thing), that could be a deal breaker for a lot of women.

More From Ask Dr. Oz Anything
20 articles
cookie dough
Can Cookie Dough Really Make You Sick?
wine
Got a Graceful Way to Handle an Alcohol Pusher?
airplane
Why Is Air Travel So Exhausting?
Are Detox Baths Healthy?
What Kinds of Ginger Qualify as Healthy?

The Benefits

Who's to say one extra roll in the hay a month isn't a major improvement, especially if your libido was dead in the water before that? "For many of the women in the studies, that was meaningful," says Lauren Streicher, M.D., of Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. Plus, that number was an average—some women had many more satisfying events, she says. Others also said the drug helped them feel less distressed about their sex lives. It's up to you to decide if the risk-benefit profile is worth it, but I'm glad that women at least have this new option.

This story originally appeared in the November 2015 issue of Dr. Oz The Good Life.

Read Next: