Female sexual dysfunction affects roughly half of the female population around the world. Persistent problems such as having low sex drive, i.e., having little to no sexual desire, difficulty reaching an orgasm, or painful intercourse, all of which may lead to less interest in sex.
The term that is officially used to call this dysfunction in women is Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder (HSDD). This disorder occurs in women who are premenopausal, that is, women who have not yet gone through menopause but have low libido, which they didn’t have a problem with in the past. If you suffer from low libido, don’t worry, as there is a specific medicine out there to help you manage this condition!
Introducing: ADDYI or Flibanserin, also known as the pink pill! ADDYI/Flibanserin was approved in 2015 by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of HSDD. Let’s look at what ADDYI is and how it can help you.
Dopamine and norepinephrine are neurotransmitters responsible for sexual excitement. So when you pop in a flibanserin pill, these neurotransmitters correct the imbalance and decrease serotonin, which helps in lowering sex drive. It is important to note that this drug does not boost sexual performance and is not for:
- menopausal women,
- women who have existing medical and mental health issues,
- Women who are on medication.
Many people have the common misconception that Addyi/Flibanserin and Viagra are one and the same when in reality, they are a world apart.
While flibanserin targets the neurotransmitters in the brain, viagra affects the genital tissues. Another main difference between the two is that flibanserin is taken every day as prescribed by a physician, whereas Viagra is taken on an as-need basis right before sex.
Clinical studies have shown that a group of women who had sexual desires in the past can end up suffering from low desire - be it towards their partners or anyone else. Each of those women suffered from HSDD for 5 or more years and reported no sexual feelings or desire.
The main benefit of this drug is that it gives you back your libido, and as one woman during clinical trials said, “It flipped my switch”! So, if you are suffering from HSDD, it can “flip your switch” too.
Depending on the individual, it may take up to four, eight, or a maximum of twelve weeks for the pill to take effect. However, if you still haven’t noticed a change by the end of twelve weeks, you’re probably not a responder, meaning it won’t work for you.
There are many side effects reported, but the common ones include:
If these happen more than once or get worse, get immediate medical help. Flibanserin can also cause low blood pressure and fainting spells.
An allergic reaction is said to be rare, but in case you develop rashes, itching, swelling of the face, tongue, or throat, or have trouble breathing, head over to the physician immediately.
Because of so many side effects, flibanserin is typically prescribed by doctors rather than kept as an over-the-counter drug. There are also some warnings that have been laid out by the FDA:
When flibanserin was first approved by the FDA, their warning included abstaining from mixing ADDYI and alcohol. The effects of this can lead to severe fainting spells and hypotension, which can be fatal.
ADDYI/Flibanserin is taken once at night, preferably during bedtime. So, if you’ve already taken your pill for the night, avoid drinking alcohol till the morning. You can drink alcohol two hours before taking your nightly dose. However, if it’s less than two hours and you already have too much alcohol in your system, it’s better to avoid the pill for the night.
A group of enzyme inhibitors such as antibiotics, antifungals, and HIV medications are moderate to strong CYP3A4 inhibitors, which shouldn’t be taken with flibanserin. Antidepressants, herbal medications, and even grapefruit juice should be avoided.
Birth control pills can also have a greater risk of side effects when taken with flibanserin. However, it is important to note that birth control pills can also be a crucial factor in the loss of libido.
Therefore, it is recommended to switch to a different type of contraception when taking the pill.
Along with these, a woman shouldn’t use ADDYI/flibanserin pills for hormonal changes, depression, problems with partners, etc.
Flibanserin is not recommended for people with liver disease as it can cause severe hypotension and fainting.
Many women may worry about whether taking flibanserin will affect their sense of judgment, such as saying “No” to sex. Flibanserin works to restore a woman’s natural sexual desire so they can find themselves having a good sense of judgment, just as before when they lost their libido.
Women using ADDYI/flibanserin pills can stop using them anytime they want. But the main question is: Whether their sexual libido will stay restored after they go off the medicine?
There’s no correct answer to this. It all depends on the individual and how they feel after keeping it off for a few days. If the sexual desire goes away, they may need to continue taking it. More research is necessary to find out how enduring the effects may be after stopping the drug.
However, it has been shown that a woman took the drug for 18 months, which was the maximum timespan, and it greatly improved the pill’s effectiveness. You can try adding some essential oils and aromatherapy for better results, as it will enhance your mood, well-being, and libido.
ADDYI/Flibanserin has given women with HSDD hope in having their sexual desires restored. However, care needs to be taken when you take the pill with other drugs, alcohol, and birth control contraceptives.
Use ADDYI only when prescribed by a physician, and if you experience any severe side effects, get medical help immediately. Other than that, if the drug’s working for you, continue with the daily doses and feel the difference (and improvement) in your sexual libido.