So how did they land on Addyi? While pharmaceutical companies are notoriously tight-lipped when it comes to their naming methods, we know that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration considers several factors when approving a drug—to "increase the safe use of drug products by minimizing user errors attributed to unclear nomenclature, labels, labeling, and packaging design of drug products," according to its website.

For instance, they’ll consider whether the name sounds like another drug, which could create confusion at pharmacy counters—and whether it oversells the product. (In other words, "Orgasm-4-Life" would not be an acceptable name.)


Addyi meets these standards—but is that enough for the first pill to treat sexual dysfunction in women? This is a name that will go down in history. Even the weight-loss drug Alli, which may be its closest comparison—it was a big deal when it came out, and was also directed at women—echoes "ally," as in, "this drug is totally my friend while trying to lose weight." Addyi does none of these things.

If not an actual alien, Addyi sounds like something alien. Or perhaps a new champ on League of Legends (you know, since Akali and Azir were already taken). Or maybe Addyi is short for Adelaide, a name that reached peak popularity in 1880 when women really had no rights, and Sprout is trying to be ironic?


Or maybe Sprout was thinking that the weirder the name, the more it would rile up women, and the more publicity it would get from journalists like me.

Well played, Sprout. Well played.

Taryn Hillin is Fusion's love and sex writer, with a large focus on the science of relationships. She also loves dogs, Bourbon barrel-aged beers and popcorn — not necessarily in that order.