This piece will look at FDA-approved medicines for increasing female sexual desire. The medicine flibanserin emphasizes the therapy’s effectiveness and availability.
Flibanserin, marketed as Addyi, is an FDA-approved (USA) medicine for the treatment of premenopausal women (those who have not yet reached menopause) with hypoactive (low) sexual desire problems (HSDD).
Flibanserin has been incorrectly dubbed “pink Viagra,” after the medicine Viagra, which is used to treat erectile dysfunction in males (sildenafil). More about this in one of the following paragraphs.
What Is Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder (HSDD)?
HSDD I is distinguished by a lack of desire for sexual activities (‘low libido’). There is no official UK guide or information about HSDD and its diagnosis. Women with HSDD may experience some of the following symptoms (Meston & Stanton, ND):
- Absence or diminished interest in sexual activity
- Sexual ideas or fantasies are absent or decreased.
- No or diminished sexual activity initiation
- Inability to respond to a partner’s attempts to begin
Most of all, sexual experiences lack or have limited sexual excitement or pleasure (e.g., regardless of partner) Addyi.com offers a brief quiz that may aid in diagnosing HSDD.
A variety of variables, both psychological and physical, contribute to HSDD. A chemical imbalance in the parts of the brain responsible for the sexual drive may cause HSDD symptoms.
Uses Of Flibanserin
As previously stated, Flibanserin is approved for premenopausal women with decreased sexual desire, causing Anxiety and interpersonal issues.
This indication excludes symptoms induced by related substances (FDA, 2015)
- Having a medical illness or being diagnosed with a psychological disorder
- Medication use
- Relationship issues
Flibanserin does not improve sexual performance.
Flibanserin is hypothesized to influence serotonin and dopamine activity in some brain regions, improving their balance, which is essential for controlling sexual response (Allers et al., 2010).
How Does Flibanserin Work?
Flibanserin is not suitable for everyone. However, in randomized placebo-controlled clinical studies, 46-60% of women with HSDD, or slightly more than half, reported a definite benefit with Flibanserin.
Nobody knows precisely what the mechanism is. However, serotonin in the brain decreases sexual function, and Flibanserin reduces brain serotonin activity, which may explain its ability to restore desire. Flibanserin indirectly affects dopamine and norepinephrine, which may be necessary.
Is Flibanserin in Safe Or Danger?
The clinical trial data on Flibanserin provided to the FDA contained results from over 11,000 people, making it one of the most extensive data sets ever presented to the FDA. This medication’s safety has been scrutinized more rigorously than most new medicines approved by the FDA.
Like any other freshly licensed medicine, Flibanserin still has many unknowns. Rare but significant adverse effects are occasionally found months or years after a drug has been widely used. Expect your prescriber to monitor your therapy closely. You can also read Addyi Review: Does It Work For You?
Possible Side Effects Flibanserin
Before licensing Flibanserin, the FDA closely examined two adverse effects of reduced blood pressure: (1) drowsiness and (2) dizziness or fainting.
Sedation was prevalent and typically minor in clinical studies. The FDA especially requested data on women’s driving ability the following day after taking it. There was no indication of driving impairment. Persons who had taken Flibanserin appeared to have more excellent driving performance than those who had not.
Dizziness or fainting due to a decrease in blood pressure was less prevalent. However, significant reductions in blood pressure were observed in many people in so-called “challenge tests,” in which volunteers received Flibanserin along with drugs known to boost blood levels of the drug or took the pill and then drank the equivalent of 2-4 shots of liquor.
It should be noted that most of the individuals in the alcohol challenge experiments were men. Finding female volunteers ready to take this drug with 2-4 shots of vodka in the morning was difficult.
The FDA mandated a “black-box warning” instructing patients to avoid drinking alcohol while taking Flibanserin and avoid this medicine when using moderate to severe Cytochrome p450 inhibitors such as fluconazole (Diflucan and others), which can elevate flibanserin blood levels.
How Effective Is Flibanserin HSDD?
Flibanserin failed to get a license in 2010 due to an insufficient risk-benefit ratio, primarily due to concerns about the treatment’s adverse effects. The FDA authorized Flibanserin five years later based on new data from further research.
A systematic review on the efficacy and Safety of Flibanserin for treating hypoactive sexual desire disorder in women included data from five published and three unpublished trials that included 5914 individuals.
Key findings from a systematic study of Flibanserin efficacy (Jaspers et al., 2016):
- Women treated with Flibanserin had one-half more pleasurable sexual experiences per month on average.
- Flibanserin treatment was related to a statistically and clinically significant increase in the risk of adverse effects, including dizziness, drowsiness, nausea, and tiredness. In other words, the treatment’s therapeutic advantages are minimal, with a considerable risk of adverse effects.
- Two independent researchers rated the quality of study outcome evidence as low (Cochrane Collaboration)
Is Flibanserin Available Online?
In the United States, Flibanserin is a prescription drug. Before speaking with a medical practitioner, one cannot just purchase Flibanserin online or obtain Flibanserin OTC (over the counter) from a pharmacy. On the other hand, women seeking a flibanserin prescription can use Push Health to connect with a medical professional who can provide flibanserin tablets as necessary.
Flibanserin costs roughly $426 (£331) for a 30-day supply in the United States. When insured in the United States, the monthly cost is approximately $25. (Addyi.com, ND).
Why Is Flibanserin Not Like A ‘Pink Viagra’?
As stated in the preceding subtopics, Flibanserin influences alterations in specific brain areas. Viagra (sildenafil), a medicine used to treat erectile dysfunction in males, acts differently.
Sildenafil relaxes smooth muscles, causing vasodilation and increasing blood flow into the penis. Sildenafil has no brain-related actions. To summarise, the data supporting the efficacy of Flibanserin is of poor quality.
Final Words From AzDrug
You’ll need to consult a doctor familiar with Flibanserin and can thoroughly assess your circumstances to determine whether medication is appropriate. We won’t know how effective this new treatment is until we give it to people. It is, however, a novel solution to sexual desire loss, which may be a particularly tough problem for couples.
There will undoubtedly be more clinical studies on Flibanserin in the coming years, and I look forward to discussing the findings with you when they become available.