Women eager to see if new libido drug will work

Late Tuesday the Food and Drug Administration approved the "Pink Pill" to boost a woman's sexual desire. Some have called it the "female Viagra," but unlike Viagra, it does not treat physical symptoms. Instead, it affects the mind.

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Sheri Mike.
CBS News

Sheri Mike is a married mother of two. After going on birth control in her late teens, she noticed a change in her sex drive.

"The lack of desire, the lack of sexual thoughts, no libido," she said. "It's just this one area that's kind of holding us back from being truly happy."

Now that the drug Addyi has been approved to treat low libido in premenopausal women, the 34-year-old is eager to see if it works for her.

"I've tried vitamins, me and my husband have tried counseling I've tried hypnotherapy, but none of those have worked," she said.

Side effects include sleepiness, nausea and when used with alcohol, fainting. That prompted the company to include a warning not to use alcohol with the drug, which must be taken daily. Before Tuesday the drug was rejected twice because of concerns about the side effects and its level of effectiveness.

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CBS News

A public relations campaign called Even the Score lobbied Congress and the FDA for approval.

They made a spoof ad, and charged sexism because there was no sexual dysfunction drug for women.

Dr. Adriane Fugh-Berman had urged the FDA to reject the drug.

"It will send a signal to companies that they can launch a well funded public relations campaign and pressure the FDA into approving a drug that it wouldn't approve based on the science," she said.

The FDA says this approval comes with a boxed warning to highlight the risks of low blood pressure and fainting in patients who drink alcohol while using the drug. The warning will also apply to patients on certain medications and those with liver disease.

  • Jonathan LaPook

    Dr. Jonathan LaPook is the chief medical correspondent for the CBS Evening News. Follow him on Twitter at @DrLaPook