Flibanserin – what is it?

Flibanserin is a drug belonging to the class of antidepressants used in women in order to increase sexual desire, response towards sexual stimulation and the ability to enjoy sexual experiences. Used in the dose of 100mg, the drug promotes increase in sexual desire and response, but it does not improve sexual performance.

Flibanserin (generic Addyi) is a serotonin 5-HT-receptor agonist that affects the levels of serotonin neurotransmitter in the brain. The exact mechanism behind the drug’s ability to affect sexual desire is unknown, but its potential has been studied for almost 30 years, until it was finally approved by FDA for the use in pre-menopausal women.


What is Addyi?

Addyi is the trademark name for flibanserin. Addyi is a drug produced by Sprout Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and available generically as Flibanserin. The drug acts in the brain, regulating in particular the level of two neurotransmitters: dopamine, linked to pleasure and contentment mechanisms, and norepinephrine, released as a reaction to a strong external stimulus.

What is flibanserin used for?

generic addyiThe pill is used to help resolve the decline in desire in women with the consequences it has in terms of the quality of sexual intercourse, vaginal lubrication, achievement of orgasm. Flibanserin (Addyi) showed a marked efficacy in helping women overcome a broad spectrum of sexual disorders related to sexual arousal / sexual interest in a series of trials.

Flibanserin is taken as a course during 8-6 weeks, preferably at bedtime. The drug should not be used alongside with alcohol, CYP3A4 inhibitors, grapefruit and grapefruit juice.

Why isn’t flibanserin approved for postmenopausal women?

FDA did not approve the use of flibanserin in women following menopause due to the lack of clinical data dedicated to the use of the drug in this patient subcategory. However, the evidence has been piling in favor of Addyi efficacy in women of different age groups, including those in post-menopausal age.

Women experience decline in sexual desire brought on by hormonal changes in menopause, and those changes can be successfully addressed by existing drugs that restore hormonal balance in climacteric period. Therefore, the risks to benefits ratio of Addyi used in menopause is not reasonable.

What are the side effects of flibanserin?

Women taking flibanserin report the following side effects:

  • dizziness
  • drowsiness
  • fainting
  • decrease in blood pressure
  • headache

In the event of deterioration in side effects, consult your prescriber without delay.

Addyi or Lady Era – what is the difference?

Addyi and Lady Era (Female Viagra) are two distinctly different drugs, both used for the purpose of increasing female sexual desire and consecutively improving the chances of reaching orgasm. Although flibanserin is often referred to as Viagra for women, this moniker is not based on scientific correctness. Flibanserin is a much more complex solution than sildenafil given that in men the decline in desire can only be treated with very demanding hormonal therapies and if there are indications.

menopauseFlibanserin acts by balancing the level of serotonin in the brain, while sildenafil used in Lady Era stimulates the desire by improving the blood flow.

The most common side effects of Lady Era are headache, nausea, stomach upset, facial flushing, nasal congestion; the adverse events common for Addyi are sluggishness, dizziness, syncope, drop in blood pressure.

The price difference between Flibanserin and Lady Era is significant: a tablet of Lady Era retails at $0.85 and above, while Addyi cost per pill is $14.24.

Which is better, Lady Era or Addyi? This is a question of individual response and the reasons behind your disorder. In any event, doctor should rule out any possible contraindications to both substances before you start taking either of them.

Questions to Flibanserin – what is it?

Milly says:

February 15, 2020 at 7:39 pm

Hello dear doctor! I have been suffering from a severe drop in sexual desire following the loss of a job and a period of clinical depression. I have considered trying the new drug Addyi (Flibanserin) but I am cautious for the side effects. Do the benefits outweigh the risks?

Evelyn Green says:

February 23, 2020 at 5:51 pm

Hello, Milly! Flibanserin molecule is to be taken every day, and there has been a harsh controversy on its efficacy that lasted precisely 6 years; the company that first tried to get the drug approved, Boehringer Ingelheim transferred the rights in 2010 to Sprout Pharmaceuticals which finally succeeded. Measuring desire and quantifying the result is not easy and the side effects of drugs always exist; in the end the number of favorable events stimulated by flibanserin doubled compared to the control group, but also the control group spontaneously increased its “favorable” events (the placebo effect) and therefore in the end the advantage of flibanserin was felt in 1 out of 5 women. This is what the science has to say on it. In any event, taking flibanserin based drug will require doctor’s opinion and prescription, and if the pill is approved for you, give it a try. Otherwise, consider going with the safer and more time-tested sildenafil molecule in Female Viagra.