In this article I want to talk about Addyi – it is a drug that was approved by the Food and Drug Administration as a treatment for hypoactive sexual desire disorder in females. But once it came on the market it did not become popular.
Viagra on the other hand when it was approved in 1998 within the first month had about 600,000 prescriptions. Just enough in one month alone and even now for 2015, total sales per year were about four billion dollars. On the other hand, Addyi in the first month had 227 prescriptions. That’s right. 227 prescriptions. So it is selling at an annualized rate of about 11 million dollars. The company had hope for somewhere between a 100 million in a 150 million and remembered they spent 1 billion dollars to buy the company.
A recent analysis in JAMA Internal Medicine looked at the drug; they looked at five published studies and three unpublished studies, and they looked at the patient’s global assessment of improvement. And they found it was minimal to non-existent. And then they looked at the number of sexually satisfying exposures or experiences per month. And they found that with the Addyi overall that was about one extra sexually satisfying experience every other month, maybe even every third month.
If you look at the unpublished studies, and the real problem with Addyi is not that it doesn’t work, and it does not seem to work very well at all, but the problems with the side effects. Side effects as big black box warning if you take the drug you might become hypotensive, your blood pressure might crash, you might become dizzy, or even faint, lose consciousness. Oh my god, this is not a good drug, the good situation at all. A lot of the people who take the drug suffer from dizziness, or sleepiness, nausea, fatigue. Some of them even have insomnia. Dry mouth is another common complication. They looked at women who took the pill for a year and if you take the pill for a year the likelihood of a side effect is about 40 percent, the significant side effect is about 8 percent.
And there is another problem with this drug. If you happen to drink alcohol, even an occasional glass of wine, that is going to increase the likelihood that you’re going to have a problem with following blood pressure, or fainting, or loss of consciousness. So you have to be very careful. And there are a lot of medicines that are going to interact, that are going to cause the same sort of problems potentially. And those drugs might be as simple as erythromycin, or maybe St. John’s Wort, or maybe Ginkgo. Maybe you’re taking a hepatitis C drug, an HIV drug, or even if you’re a woman and you have a yeast infection taking something as simple as Diflucan.
Well if you take the drug and you don’t find that benefits, you ought to stop after that eight weeks.