Patricia Bearnson, M.D.

Sexual Medicine & Menopause Center

Flibanserin Basic Information

Flibanserin may be called “a drug-of-hope” for women having troubles with sexual desire. Being produced under the brand name Addyi, this remedy was and remains the first and only drug approved by the US Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of female sexual interest/arousal disorder in women who haven’t reached a menopausal period.

The medication was first developed in 2010 as an antidepressant, yet during the clinical trials, it has been noticed that Flibanserin had a positive impact on the female libido. Hence, the aim of the remedy application was changed. As of the year 2010, the preparation was rejected for approval by the FDA, yet five years later, after the rights to the preparation were transferred to the other company, the drug was successfully approved.

How does Flibanserin Work?

The exact mechanism of action of this preparation still needs to be studied. However, it is known for sure that it affects the prefrontal cortex area by activating various neurotransmitters. Due to this, the secretion of dopamine and norepinephrine grows. By elevating the levels of the mentioned hormones, the amounts of serotonin go down. As a result, the feelings of sexual interest and desire rise.

Administering Flibanserin, women feel satisfaction from the intimate relations 0.5 times more often than without the drug. In general, the number of pleasurable sexual sensations grows from 2.8 to 4.5 times within a month.

Addyi doesn’t work for the low libido resulting from:

  • Drug intake (e.g. some antidepressants);
  • Mental health issues;
  • Problems in interpersonal relations with a partner;
  • Underlying health conditions.

How should this drug be taken

To get the best results from the therapy with Flibanserin, women should take it every day. By the way, unlike Viagra for men that shows the effect right away, the effectiveness of Flibanserin for women may be evaluated not earlier than after four weeks of its consecutive intake.

The preparation is better to be taken at bedtime to diminish the risks of injury caused by low blood pressure and possible fainting. Besides, you may feel sleepy after taking a pill.

Warnings and precautions to Flibanserin intake

As with any other medication, it is better to consult a specialist prior to starting the therapy with Flibanserin. Inform your healthcare provider about all the underlying health conditions and allergies you have. You should better avoid taking generic Addyi if you:

  • Are pregnant or are planning pregnancy;
  • Are breastfeeding;
  • Have alcohol dependency or used to have troubles with alcohol consumption;
  • Suffer from hypotension;
  • Have or have ever had depression or other mental health issues.

Besides, you should be careful with this medication if you take certain drugs against fungal and bacterial infection, hepatitis C, hypertension, and depression. Concomitant intake of Flibanserin and these medicines may result in life-threatening conditions, so discuss their safety with a doctor.

During Flibanserin therapy you have to stay away from alcohol and grapefruit juice as they may lead to a severe drop in the blood pressure. In addition, you shouldn’t drive or operate any machinery for 6 hours after taking a tablet.

Side effects

The treatment with Flibanserin may provoke some mild to moderate adverse reactions. Among the most common are:

  • Sleepiness;
  • Feeling tired;
  • Dizziness;
  • Nausea;
  • Troubles with falling asleep.

In case any of the symptoms are getting worse or is disturbing, turn to your healthcare provider for a consultation. In rare situations, you may experience a serious drop in the blood pressure, which demands immediate medical attention.