Frequently Asked Questions about Flibanserin (ADDYI™)
Flibanserin (ADDYI™ ) is a new FDA-approved drug for the treatment of Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder (HSDD). It is a once-daily pill for premenopausal women and is the first FDA-approved medication for Female Sexual Dysfunction (FSD).
HSDD is the most common type of female sexual dysfunction. HSDD is a chronic lack of desire for sexual activity, affecting one’s interpersonal relationships or leading to emotional distress. HSDD has been medically recognized for over thirty years.
Sexual desire is a complex phenomenon. In the central nervous system, it is most likely an intricate interplay between neurotransmitters (chemicals that transmit impulses between brain cells). Flibanserin works by modulating neurotransmitters such as serotonin and dopamine.
There are many causes and a medical, careful evaluation will reveal underlying conditions or medications that contribute to decreased libido. Female sexual desire is complex and social; cultural and interpersonal issues all play an important role.
Low sexual desire does not equal HSDD. The low desire must be affecting one’s interpersonal relationships or leading to emotional distress for a diagnosis of HSDD. Flibanserin will be an important option for some women.
There are many ways to measure effectiveness. In clinical trials, the use of Flibanserin has consistently improved desire for sex, reduced distress caused by a lack of sexual desire, and increased the number of satisfying sexual events. Although results may be minimal in some cases, for some women suffering from HSDD, any increase in the number of satisfying sexual events can greatly reduce their distress.
- When distress over lack of desire is significant and is adversely effecting quality of life
- In a situation where a person is willing to take a daily medication
- When the benefits outweigh the risks for the individual
Most drugs have risks and benefits and this profile varies with the individual, the severity of their disorder and their degree of reaction.
Possible side effects include dizziness, nausea, and fatigue. Most women who have taken Flibanserin in clinical trials have had no significant adverse effects. Any side effects disappear rapidly once someone stops taking it. For most women, the side effects were tolerable and they continued to take it. The only way to know if you will have bothersome side effects is to try the medication. Significant drops in blood pressure and fainting were rare in clinical trials and often the result of alcohol use or reaction with other medications.
Flibanserin does not mix well with alcohol and certain medications. Women need to tell their doctor about EVERY medication or supplement they take to avoid drug interactions. Women with liver disease may not take Flibanserin.
Flibanserin is not a hormone, so there are no specific concerns about breast cancer.
Flibanserin cannot make a woman more vulnerable to date rape. Alcohol is the most likely chemical to be involved in date rape and is contraindicated with Flibanserin.
Right now, there are no medications specifically approved for any form of female sexual dysfunction besides Flibanserin.
The first step is to get proper diagnosis and treatment, which may or may not include Flibanserin. Other treatments may involve changes in existing medications, treatment of underlying disorders, medical or physical therapy for vaginal and pelvic problems as well as individual or couples counselling.
We have conducted multiple clinical trials for FSD at our research center, including Viagra, testosterone for women, and several other compounds.