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Female Viagra Finally Approved!

Female Viagra has finally been approved by an FDA Panel! Five years after the FDA first denied approval of flibanserin because it “could cause dizziness,” the panel finally overcame concerns about the non-fatal fainting effect and gave it the thumbs up. These government health experts are backing an experimental drug intended to boost the female sex drive, but stress that it must carry safety restrictions to manage side effects including fatigue, low blood pressure, and fainting.

A good friend of mine, a nurse, worked for the pharmaceutical company that originally ran the trials. It was a years-long process, and the results were very favorable. And the husbands and boyfriends were very supportive of the trials, don’t you know.

But then, the FDA didn’t approve it because its singular objection at that time was the side-effect of dizziness. I am not kidding. I remember thinking, upon reading that, about all the drug commercials, and how it takes 30 seconds just to administer warnings of the side-effects. And the FDA was worried about dizziness?

I thought then that there was something fishy about not approving a drug that increased the female libido. The drug was originally an anti-depressant, but the startling benefits of increased libido in women caused the drug company to initiate the long-term, expensive trials.

The FDA has twice rejected the drug since 2010. Now, five years later, the Food and Drug Administration panel voted 18-6 in favor of approving Sprout Pharmaceutical’s daily pill flibanserin, on the condition that its manufacturer develops a plan to limit safety risks.

I took care of my parents for years, and learned about the life-threatening side effects of certain drugs. When my mother, after open heart surgery in September, 2000, was prescribed Vioxx, she went into renal failure, had gastrointestinal bleeding, and seizures.

The doctors were at a loss as to what caused this. I researched Vioxx online, and found an article in the British Lancet about the side effects of Vioxx, and the horrible effects of the drug—renal failure and gastrointestinal bleeding–which led to my mother’s death–were there.  It was also stated that Vioxx should never be given to a heart patient. Despite numerous accounts of such devastating incidents, Vioxx was not removed from the market until 2004.

Then there was the matter of Avandia and my father’s diabetes. After his endocrinologist prescribed it in 2005, I researched it before filling the prescription. Long story short, it could cause severe heart problems if given with a higher dose of insulin. I actually had to fax the doctor and ask him to lower my father’s insulin dosage so that he wouldn’t suffer from heart failure attributed to the combination of Avandia and insulin. The dangers were known for years (hell, I knew it in 2005) but Avandia use was not severely restricted by the FDA until 2010, after it was linked to tens of thousands of heart attacks, strokes and heart failures.

So with such dangerous drugs with known mortal side effects being prescribed years after they should have been removed from the market, I had to wonder about the FDAs concern with the “dizziness” connected with female Viagra. That dizziness has been “upgraded” to fatigue, low blood pressure and fainting.

My experience with the FDA and drug companies has taught me that such decisions are influenced by money and power.

So here’s my theory: Some well-funded, Christian fundamental right-wing faction thought it was a bad idea for women to actually enjoy sex. Sex is just for procreation, right? Pressure was exerted at the right levels. But somehow, five years later, with science proving that nothing worse than fainting could occur with the use of flibanserin, the FDA capitulated. They had to.

Science won. Religion lost. Now if we can just convince them of the “side effects” of global warming.


Rebecca Warner’s educational and professional background was in finance and banking in Miami, Florida. After she and her husband moved to the beautiful mountains of North Carolina, Rebecca began writing articles for several local periodicals. Drawing upon her many years of advising the lovelorn and successful matchmaking, she also wrote a romance-and-relationship advice column. In 2014, she published her first book, Moral Infidelity, which won the Bronze Medal in the Readers’ Favorite 2015 International Book Awards’ thriller category, and Top 10 Honorable Mention in the 2015 Great Southeast Book Festival. Her second novel, Doubling Back To Love, was solicited for inclusion in a ten-novel romantic anthology, and her third book, He’s Just A Man, is a non-fiction self-help book for women seeking a mate. Rebecca is a convivial feminist who blogs on her own sites and for The Huffington Post about topics of interest to women. She enjoys participating in podcasts and forums about women’s social, economic and political issues. Please visit her website at www.rebeccajwarner.com to learn more about her books, catch up on her blogs--including those published on Huff Post--and to hear her podcasts.