Let's be clear up front: No drug is without side effects. But every medicine is a balance of risks and benefits. And as Walid Fouad Gellad, an internist in Pittsburgh who has written about flibanserin in JAMA, noted, given the fact that flibanserin doesn't seem to do all that much to alter women's sex drives, there's a big question about whether its side effects are worth the risk.
Research to date has shown that about one in five women who took the drug reported adverse effects. Most commonly these included drowsiness, dizziness, and fainting, which increased the risk of injuries such as concussions. Extremely low blood pressure was another, less common side effect.
"If you're going to give something to women and they can pass out any time, that’s a real problem," Gellad remarked.
What's worse, these side effects are exacerbated when the drug is taken with alcohol and hormonal contraceptives — and many, many women drink alcohol and use these types of birth control.