BEVERLY HILLS ( — The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Tuesday approved a drug to increase a woman’s sex drive for the first time in a move that has received a lot of reaction.

The move to approve the drug called Addyi for sexual dysfunction in women was made after years of clinical trials. It’s the only treatment for premenopausal women with low libido.

“I think it’s the beginning of a breakthrough,” said Fran Walfish, a psychotherapist in Beverly Hills.

Walfish says decreased sexual desire for women is common in her practice, but she’s cautiously optimistic about the drug.

Addyi, manufactured by Sprout Pharmaceuticals, is a prescribed daily pill that works by stimulating and increasing hormones in the brain that affect sex drive.

But the FDA does warn against its side effects, including low blood pressure and fainting, which are greatly increased with alcohol intake.

According to the FDA, clinical trials found about 10 percent more patients using Addyi as compared to placebo patients reported a higher sexual desire.

But Walfish says women shouldn’t expect the pink pill to be a cure.

“They have to go in with appropriate expectations. Do not expect the earth to move,” Walfish said.

But, she says, she will now talk to some patients about the possibility of Addyi.

“For some women, a little bit of movement in the right direction may be enough to give them hope,” she said.

Addyi is expected to hit the market in mid-October.


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