What is flibanserin? What is flibanserin used for?
Addyi (flibanserin) is an oral drug used for treating low sexual desire in women. The mechanism of action of flibanserin is not completely understood. Flibanserin affects the way the brain works by interfering with communication among the brain's nerves in areas of the brain that control sexual desire and other pleasurable sensations. Nerves communicate with each other by making and releasing chemicals called neurotransmitters. The neurotransmitters travel to other nearby nerves where they attach to receptors on nerves. The attachment of neurotransmitters either stimulates or inhibits the function of the nearby nerves. Flibanserin blocks several of the receptors on nerves including dopamine type 4, and serotonin type 2A, 2B and 2C receptors. It also stimulates serotonin type 1A. How these effects improve sexual desire in women is unknown. Scientists think that flibanserin may regulate areas of the brain that control sexual desire in premenopausal women with reduced sexual interest and desire. The FDA approved flibanserin on August 18, 2015.
What brand names are available for flibanserin?
Is flibanserin available as a generic drug?
Do I need a prescription for flibanserin?
What are the side effects of flibanserin?
Flibanserin may cause low blood pressure and fainting. Patients should lie down and seek medical help if they experience fainting.
Flibanserin causes drowsiness and reduces alertness. Patients should avoid operating machinery, driving, or performing other dangerous activities for at least 6 hours after taking each dose of flibanserin.
What is the dosage for flibanserin?
Flibanserin is administered once daily by mouth at bedtime. It should be stopped after 8 weeks if there is no improvement in symptoms.
Which drugs or supplements interact with flibanserin?
Flibanserin is metabolized or broken down by liver enzymes. Drugs that induce the activity of these enzymes will decrease blood levels of flibanserin. Examples of such drugs include
- carbamazepine (Tegretol),
- rifampin (Rifadin),
- St. John's Wort,
- phenobarbital, and
- several other drugs.
Flibanserin should not be combined with drugs that decrease its blood levels.
Drugs that block the action of enzymes that breakdown flibanserin will increase blood levels and side effects of flibanserin. Therefore, flibanserin should not be combined with
- itraconazole (Sporanox),
- clarithromycin (Biaxin),
- ketoconazole (Nizoral),
- fluconazole (Diflucan),
- ritonavir (Norvir),
- indinavir (Crixivan),
- telithromycin (Ketek),
- diltiazem (Cardizem),
- verapamil (Calan),
- grapefruit juice, and
- other drugs that may increase its blood levels.
Flibanserin increases blood levels of digoxin (Lanoxin). This may lead to digoxin toxicity.
Is flibanserin safe to take if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?
Flibanserin has not been adequately studied in pregnant women.
Flibanserin has not been studied in women who are breastfeeding. It is not known whether flibanserin is present in human milk.
Flibanserin (Addyi) is a drug prescribed premenopausal women with acquired generalized hypoactive sexual desire disorder (HSDD) and are experiencing low sexual desire, marked distress, or interpersonal difficulty. Side effects, drug interactions, dosage, storage, and pregnancy and breastfeeding information should be reviewed prior to taking this medication.
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Related Disease Conditions
Night sweats are severe hot flashes that occur at night and result in a drenching sweat. The causes of night sweats in most people are not serious, like menopause in women, sleep apnea, medications, alcohol withdrawal, and thyroid problems. However, more serious diseases like cancer and HIV also can cause night sweats. Your doctor will treat your night sweats depending upon the cause. You may experience other signs and symptoms that are associated with night sweats, which depend upon the cause, but may include, shaking, and chills with a fever caused by an infection like the flu or pneumonia; unexplained weight loss due to lymphoma; women in perimenopause or menopause may also have vaginal dryness, mood swings, and hot flashes during the day; and low blood sugar in people with diabetes. Other causes of night sweats include medications like NSAIDs (aspirin, acetaminophen, ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil), and naproxen (Aleve, Naprosyn), antidepressants, sildenafil (Viagra), and abuse of prescription or illegal drugs and drug withdrawal; hormone disorders like pheochromocytoma and carcinoid syndrome; idiopathic hyperhidrosis; infections like endocarditis, AIDs, and abscesses; alcoholism and alcohol withdrawal; drug abuse, addiction, and withdrawal; and stroke. A doctor or other health care professional can treat your night sweats after the cause has been diagnosed.
Menopause is the time in a woman's life when menstrual periods permanently stop, also called the "change of life." Menopause symptoms and signs include hot flashes, night sweats, irregular vaginal bleeding, vaginal dryness, painful intercourse, urinary incontinence, weight gain, and emotional symptoms such as mood swings. Treatment of menopausal symptoms varies and should be discussed with your physician.
Vaginitis (Inflammation of the Vagina)
Vaginitis refers to inflammation of the vagina. Vaginitis can be caused by infections, menopause, or poor hygiene. Symptoms of vaginitis include vaginal itching, discharge, odor, pain, or discomfort. Treatment for vaginitis depends on the cause. Antibiotics may be necessary for some forms of vaginitis.
Female Reproductive System
The female reproductive system is designed to carry out several functions, including: producing the female egg cells, conception, and producing female sex hormones that maintain the reproductive cycle. During menopause the female reproductive system gradually stops making the female hormones necessary for the reproductive cycle to work. Some of the important parts of the female reproductive anatomy include the: uterus, ovaries, vagina, cervix, urethra, and vaginal opening.
Vaginal Pain (Vulvodynia)
Vulvodynia or vaginal pain, genital pain is a condition in which women have chronic vulvar pain with no known cause. There are two types of vulvodynia, generalized vulvodynia, and vulvar vestibulitis. Researchers are trying to find the causes of vulvodynia, for example, nerve irritation, genetic factors, hypersensitivity to yeast infections, muscle spasms, and hormonal changes. The most common symptoms of vaginal pain (vulvodynia) are burning, rawness, itching, stinging, aching, soreness, and throbbing. There are a variety of treatments that can ease the symptoms of vulvodynia (vaginal pain).
Hot flashes (or flushing) is the most common symptom experienced by a woman prior to and during the early stages of menopause, and often is described as the feeling of warmth that spreads over the body, often starting at the head accompanied by sweating. Symptoms of hot flashes include flushing, excessive sweating, anxiety, and palpitations.
Vaginal Dryness and Vaginal Atrophy
Vaginal dryness and vaginal atrophy occurs in women during perimenopause, menopause, and postmenopause. With vaginal atrophy, the lining of the vaginal wall becomes thinner, drier, less elastic, and light pink to bluish in color. Symptoms of vaginal atrophy include vaginal dryness, itching, irritation, and/or pain during intercourse. Treatment options for vaginal dryness and vaginal atrophy include hormone treatment and over-the-counter vaginal lubricating and moisturizing products.
Premature menopause is when menopause occurs in a woman before the age of 40. Causes of premature menopause include premature ovarian failure, treatments for cancer and other conditions, surgical removal of the ovaries, chronic diseases of the pituitary or thyroid gland, or psychiatric disorders. Treatment is directed at menopausal symptoms.
Natural Remedies for Hot Flashes
Hot flashes are experienced by many women, especially at night. However, not all women undergoing menopause experience hot flashes. What causes hot flashes? A hot flash is a feeling of warmth that spreads over the body. Treatment for hot flashes include hormone replacement therapy and alternative prescription medications such as: SSRIs (Effexor, Paxil, Prozac), clonidine (Catapres), megestrol (Megace), and gabapentin (Neurontin). Few natural remedies for hot flashes (for example phytoestrogens - isoflavones, black cohosh, and vitamin E) have been scientifically studied.
Sex and Menopause
Menopause is often associated with a change in sexual functioning. Loss of estrogen, bladder control issues, anxiety, stress, health concerns, medications, and sleep disturbances often result in a decrease in libido. Though there are currently no good drugs for treating sexual problems in women, there are ways to increase intimacy with a partner and treat vaginal dryness.
Treatment & Diagnosis
Medications & Supplements
Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.