FDA Approves Female Libido Pill

Addi (Flibanserin 100 mg) is the first FDA-approved treatment for Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder (HSDD) in premenopausal women. 

What is Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder?

HSDD has been widely recognized as the most common sexual complaint among women, with a range of prevalence from 13-24% of all women, according to the International Society for Sexual Medicine.  HSDD is characterized by a persistent absence of sexual thoughts, desire, and fantasies as well as a lack of desire for sexual activity.  


Have you tried everything else first?

  • Do you feel a decrease in your desire for sex?

  • Do you feel distressed by your loss of sexual desire?

  • Do you feel dissatisfied by your level of enjoyment in sexual encounters?

  • Are you premenopausal?

  • Have you tried sex therapy to improve the psychological and relational reasons for your loss of sexual desire?

  • Have you been to a gynecologist specializing in female sexual dysfunction to see whether other types of drugs such as hormone creams may help you?

  • You are not taking medications such as anti-depressants and birth controls that lower your sexual desire?

  • You do not have a co-existing medical or psychiatric condition?

  • You do not have problems within the relationship?


If you answered yes to all of the above, you may want to consider speaking with a doctor about this new medication. 


How effective is this drug in improving sexual desire in women?

  • In studies by Boehringer Ingelheim, women who took flibanserin reported an increase in desire for sex, a reduction of distress from the loss of sexual desire, and experienced an increase in the number of satisfying sexual events.  Women went from 2.8 pleasing sexual events per month to 4.5 per month. 

  • However, women in the placebo group also increased their number of pleasing sexual events from 2.8 to 3.7 per month.  So the difference between the women who took the medication to the ones who took the placebo was only one more pleasing sexual event per month. 


What are the safety concerns and side effects?

  • The most common adverse side effects were dizziness, somnolence, nausea, fatigue, insomnia, and dry mouth.

  • Hypotension and syncope were seen rarely, but occurred more frequently when taken with alcohol. 

  • You should not take any alcohol while taking this drug. This drug is not taken as needed (like Viagra), but is taken on an ongoing basis (every night before bed), so alcohol would not be able to be consumed for the entire duration of taking the medication.  

  • Birth control pills also increased the likelihood of adverse side effects.

See a sex therapist and a gynecologist who specializes in female sexual dysfunction, as much can be improved by doing that first.  Of course, it’s nice to know that now there is another option out there for those women who have tried everything else.  


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