Couple on benchLow libido, which is also known as hypoactive sexual desire disorder (HSDD), represents the most common sexual dysfunction in women. In addition, it is known to be difficult to treat. The Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) approval of Flibanserin (Addyi) to treat HSDD in premenopausal women on August 18, 2015, a decision associated with much controversy, represents a women’s health landmark in that this medication is the first drug to be approved to treat female sexual dysfunction. However, both women and clinicians need to be aware of several facts:

 

  • Flibanserin has been denied approval twice in the past. As a result, the developer, Boehringer Ingelheim, sold the rights to Sprout Pharmaceuticals. However, many providers believe that the potential slight benefits do not outweigh the potential risks.

 

  • The medication is not effective in all premenopausal women with HSDD. In fact, when compared with placebo, flibanserin only increased the number of sexual satisfying events from 0.5 to 1 per month.

 

  • Flibanserin is not known to affect sexual arousal or orgasmic function. Unlike the rapid effects of medications for male erectile dysfunction, the benefits of flibanserin in reducing HSDD only begin to be observed after about 4 weeks of daily treatment, with results peaking at 8 weeks.

 

  • Flibanserin must be taken at bedtime to reduce the side effects of drowsiness, sudden drops in blood pressure and fainting.

 

  • Liver disease and alcohol use are known to increase the above side effects. Flibanserin package labeling will include a black box warning that indicates that users should not consume alcohol. In addition, many antibiotics, antifungals and medications used to treat HIV or AIDS are known to make flibanserin less effective.

 

  • Only prescribers and pharmacists who have been certified through an online course will be able to prescribe and dispense flibanserin. This course will not be available until October of 2015!

If you would like to consult with one of our psychiatrists about “Female Viagra” or help with low libido, please give us a call at 919-636-5240 or email office@cognitive-psychiatry.com.

Live Mentally Healthy,
Cognitive Psychiatry of Chapel Hill

Dr. Nicola Gray, Cognitive Psychiatry of Chapel Hill, Women's Health, Chapel Hill

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *