HOUSTON – In a controversial move, the "little pink pill," also known as "female Viagra" can now be discreetly ordered from home.
For a $75 consultation fee and $25 a month, the pill can be yours without an in-person transaction. The company has telemedicine doctors ready to take your call, but health experts say women should consider the pros and cons.
The pill, Addyi, works differently than Viagra, which works to help a man get an erection. Instead, Addyi allegedly helps women feel desire.
Houston certified sex therapist Emily De Ayala is typically in favor of helping women find their libido, but she said taking Addyi needs some serious thought.
“Anything that's giving women access to health care I’m generally a proponent of, but in this case, I have some concerns that it's more about these drug companies trying to sell the drug because they've reduced prices and they're being strategic about it," De Ayala said. "I'm not saying that there aren't some women who will benefit from taking this drug, but I would not advise anyone to take it without really having a conversation about it with their doctor and also understanding that female sexual desire is complex.”
Dr. Codi Wiener, an OB/Gyn at the Texas Children's Pavilion for Women agrees.
Wiener said women need to see a doctor, who can assess their risk for potential side effects of the drug.
Some side effects listed by the company are dizziness or fainting. Wiener said that can be dangerous if a woman faints while driving or holding a baby. She also warned that you might not be able to take this with blood pressure medications and certainly not with alcohol.
The company also has a warning about taking Addyi with other common drugs and antibiotics like Cipro and erythromycin.
De Ayala prefers using talk therapy to get to the root of the problem with libido, which she said can commonly be from a woman's lifestyle and not a physical issue in need of a pill.
“If they don't have a support system, they're really stressed, if there's a history of trauma, if there are issues in the relationship dynamic, all of that can contribute greatly to feeling a loss of libido,” De Ayala said.
Wiener said there are some patients this pill could benefit so she encourages an open dialogue with physicians, but she said she believes women should talk to their doctor in person and not over the phone.