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Analysis Reveals 'Female Libido' Pill May Not Be Worth It

Flibanserin carries risk of serious side effects without delivering much more sexual satisfaction

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MONDAY, Feb. 29, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Flibanserin (Addyi), the "female libido" pill, appears to cause many serious side effects while failing to increase the desire for sexual activity, according to a review published online Feb. 29 in JAMA Internal Medicine.

Ellen Laan, Ph.D., professor of sexology and psychosomatic gynecology at the University of Amsterdam, and colleagues reviewed eight clinical trials conducted with flibanserin, including five published and three unpublished studies involving 5,914 women.

The combined evidence showed that flibanserin provides marginal benefit for women who are suffering hypoactive sexual desire disorder. For example, women taking the medication scored just 0.3 points higher on a 5-point sexual desire scale and experienced a minimal increase in satisfying sexual events each month, the review authors found. But flibanserin also quadruples the risk of dizziness and sleepiness, more than doubles the chances of nausea, and increases the risk of fatigue by more than half, according to the analysis.

"We found women had, on average, 2.5 satisfying sexual events per month before entering the study, and flibanserin added one-half additional satisfying sexual events per month," Laan told HealthDay.

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