Updated: FEBRUARY 3, 2020

Addyi is the commercial name for flibanserin, a medication used to treat Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder (HSDD) in premenopausal women. At the time of writing, it is the only medication approved for treating HSDD by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Addyi is often called "female Viagra." This female equivalent has earned the equivalent feminine nickname, the Little Pink Pill.

More About Addyi

The way Addyi works on the brain is unclear, but it seems to influence the part of the brain concerning sexual motivation and sexual response. It’s thought it may boost the release of dopamine and norepinephrine, two brain chemicals linked to sexual desire and arousal. It may also impede the release of chemicals which make women feel sexually inhibited.

During clinical trials, some women taking Addyi saw one or more symptoms of HSDD subside. Some of these women said they felt more sexual desire. This led them to engaging in sexual activities including masturbation, oral, and penetrative sex more often. These sexual encounters were also more satisfying than in the recent past. Other women involved in the trial said they felt less concerned or distressed about HSDD. Most women who note improvement see results within four weeks, although it can take up to eight weeks to reduce HSDD symptoms.

However, just 10 percent of trial participants reported their HSDD symptoms were “much improved” or “very much improved.” This is much lower than the relief women experienced taking male Viagra, which had a 74 percent success rate, although this drug is not FDA approved for female use.

A range of side effects are also associated with Addyi use. This drug may trigger dizziness, nausea, fatigue, or dry mouth. Some women on the drug say they struggle to fall or remain asleep. It is also linked with fainting and low blood pressure.

If you think you would benefit from taking Addyi, you should visit a doctor for a prescription. Your doctor will determine whether you’re a good candidate for Addyi. Online telemedicine consultations are also available through the Addyi website.

Good candidates for Addyi are premenopausal women who have not battled low sexual desire in the past. Their low sexual desire should be persistent over a period of six months or more, experienced regardless of their partner, the type of sexual activity they’re engaging in, or other factors. It also shouldn’t stem from any mental or medical health problems, the use of other drugs or medications, or problems within the relationship. Women who take Addyi should also not drink alcohol or grapefruit juice or have any liver problems.


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