'Female Viagra' drug compared to ThermiVa - Dr Mitch Goldman
News Anchor: And your health news. Just last week, the FDA approved a pill that's being called the female Viagra. The drug is called Addyi or flibanserin, and is meant to help premenopausal women with a low sex drive. So how does it work, and what are some of the potential side effects? Dr. Mitchell Goldmen is here now, as he's here every Tuesday, to talk more about this new pill. Thanks for being here.
Dr. Mitchell Goldmen: It's great to be here.
News Anchor: Well Dr. G, it's called female Viagra, but truth be told, this is a very different kind of drug than the male version. Addyi was originally developed as an antidepressant. So we're talking about more of a brain altering drug, here. Explain the difference between the two.
Dr. Mitchell Goldmen: Well, it's a big difference. Essentially, Viagra just allows a man to maintain an erection. Has nothing to do with a man's sexual desire. But Addyi actually works, as you just said, as an antidepressant. They found in doing studies on antidepressants, that about 10% of the women also had an increased sexual desire. And even though there's a lot of side effects with it, and it really isn't a great antidepressant, it was about 10% better than placebo. So this is now a drug that premenopausal women can take to increase their sexual desire.
News Anchor: I'm not sure that's a ringing endorsement, with just a 10% better than placebo, but this wasn't approved overnight, Dr. G. It was turned down a few times, mainly due to concerns over potential side effects. What are those?
Dr. Mitchell Goldmen: Right. And the side effects are actually real. You can develop dizziness, sleepiness, nausea, fatigue, insomnia, dry mouth, that's just some of it. Interestingly, when they tried to go through the FDA to get it approved, they just didn't test it on women. They actually tested it on men. So it's very interesting and political why it got approved. But what I'm concerned about, is it's really not the premenopausal sexual desire that we should be concerned about. It's women that have had one or two pregnancies, and they have a loosening of their vaginal area. Because when you have a vaginal delivery, it stretches things out. And so the better way to treat it is to actually try to tighten those areas up, and there's a number of noninvasive treatments that can be performed, like [inaudible], with a radiofrequency, that can actually tighten up the vaginal area. Which also will, many times, cure incontinence, urinary problems that women can have.
News Anchor: And there are also some natural alternatives, aren't there, to try and increase your libido? Because to me, this seems like a much more complex or steeper hill to climb for women than it is men.
Dr. Mitchell Goldmen: It really is. And some of the natural ingredients, like maca and ginseng and ginkgo biloba, probably have about a similar efficacy to the Addyi pill. And so those are things that sort of stimulate your sexual desire. You know, oysters really don't do it. But in the woman that has had one or two babies from a vaginal delivery, the most important way is actually to tighten up that area, to reestablish the normal collagen or stiffness, and that will actually bring more to sexual desire than just taking a pill.
News Anchor: And Dr. G., real quickly, is there a danger in calling this the female Viagra, because it is so vastly different?
Dr. Mitchell Goldmen: It's politics. And it makes news. People know what Viagra is, and so that's why they're going to call it that. There's no danger in it. It's just that it's going to promise a little bit too much, and so again, it's not just exercising, Kegel exercising or making sure you have C-sections. There's other things that you should definitely discuss with your physician in order to try to reestablish a more normal sexual desire, as well as more normal sexual functions.
News Anchor: Alright. Dr. G., thank you for delving into this topic, very much.
Dr. Mitchell Goldmen: Good to see you.