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Key 5 Things You Need to Understand About Addyi

Every woman, based on her own unique experiences and physiological needs, has her own definition of what constitutes a “normal period.” However, hypoactive sexual desire disorder (HSDD) can manifest in women experiencing low libido or sexual desire and feeling troubled by this lack of interest in sexual activity.

A woman’s sexual desire can vary over time. Factors like stress, hormonal fluctuations, and side effects of medications can all contribute to a decrease in sexual desire. Typically, these are temporary and desire returns promptly.

As per the Society for Women’s Health Research, HSDD is a prevalent issue in female sexual health, affecting one in ten women. A prominent feature of female HSDD is the absence of sexual fantasies and the desire to engage in sexual activities, leading to significant distress or issues in interpersonal relationships. Fortunately, medications like Addyi are available to address this concern. Keep reading for more details.

Understanding Addyi in Detail

Addyi is a prescription medication designed for premenopausal women with HSDD to enhance sexual desire and reduce emotional distress. It should be used only when a lack of sexual desire is not caused by physical ailments, mental health conditions, marital problems, drug use, or other medications.

While Addyi is often likened to the female counterpart of Viagra, its mode of action is significantly different. Addyi works more like an antidepressant by rebalancing neurotransmitters in the brain that influence sexual desire, whereas Viagra enhances blood flow to the genital area.

Addyi affects dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine levels in the brain. It is taken daily at bedtime in tablet form. Consumption of alcohol while on this medication is not recommended. Individuals with liver issues or recent alcohol intake should avoid Addyi.

Some medications can have adverse interactions with Addyi. Your doctor may need to adjust your treatment plan if you are taking:

  • Antifungal drugs like fluconazole, itraconazole, ketoconazole, or posaconazole;
  • Antibiotics such as clarithromycin, ciprofloxacin, telithromycin, or erythromycin;
  • Nefazodone;
  • Antiretroviral drugs for hepatitis C like boceprevir or medications for HIV/AIDS such as atazanavir, fosamprenavir, or indinavir.

Inform your doctor if you have a history of drug addiction, depression or other mental health issues, low blood pressure, alcohol abuse (or current alcohol consumption), or any of these conditions to ensure Addyi is safe for you.

  • No sufficient data is available yet to guarantee the safety of this medication during pregnancy. Inform your doctor if you are pregnant or planning to conceive.
  • Using Addyi while breastfeeding is not recommended.
  • Individuals under 18 years of age should not use flibanserin.

Here are the guidelines for using Addyi:

  • Follow your doctor’s instructions for taking Addyi. Read all medication guides and instructions carefully.
  • Avoid consuming alcohol for at least two hours before and after taking Addyi. Combining flibanserin with alcohol can lead to a dangerous drop in blood pressure. If you have consumed alcohol within two hours, skip your bedtime dose.
  • If you feel lightheaded due to the blood pressure-lowering effect of flibanserin, lie down if you are not already in bed.
  • Store the medication at room temperature, away from moisture and heat.

Key 5 Facts Regarding Addyi

1. Differentiating Addyi and Vyleesi for Women

Medications like Addyi (flibanserin) and Vyleesi (bremelanotide) are used to treat HSDD in premenopausal women. Vyleesi is an injectable self-administered as needed, while Addyi is an oral pill taken once daily at bedtime.

Addyi – Clinical trials showed that around 10% more individuals on Addyi reported significant improvements in satisfying sexual events, sexual desire, or sexual distress compared to a placebo group.

Vyleesi – In clinical studies, approximately 25% of women receiving Vyleesi experienced increased sexual desire scores, compared to about 17% in the placebo group.

2. Flibanserin’s Role in Addressing HSDD

Flibanserin, approved by the FDA in August 2015, is the first medication for acquired, generalized HSDD in premenopausal women. Clinical trials have shown modest improvements in indicators of reduced sexual desire like number of sexual desires, satisfying sexual events (SSEs), and overall sexual function.

3. Flibanserin as a Multifunctional Serotonergic Drug

Flibanserin, a novel multifunctional serotonergic drug, enhances sexual performance in premenopausal women with diminished sexual interest and desire.

It modulates synaptic dopamine and other microcircuits where norepinephrine, testosterone, and estrogen exert positive effects on libido. At the same time, microcircuits influenced by prolactin and serotonin negatively impact libido.

Thus, dysfunction in sexual interest and desire can result from an excess of microcircuit serotonin or a deficiency in dopamine and norepinephrine. Flibanserin acts as both an agonist and antagonist at specific serotonin receptors in neuronal microcircuits.

4. Impact of Hormonal Contraceptives on Addyi

Preliminary data suggests that using hormonal contraceptives while on Addyi can lead to additional adverse effects. Addyi is specifically approved for premenopausal women who are likely using hormonal contraceptives.

Women using hormonal contraceptives experienced more side effects like drowsiness, dizziness, and fatigue. The known influence of hormonal contraceptives on CYP3A4 can lead to a 40% increase in Addyi levels.

5. Central Nervous System Effects of Addyi

Addyi is associated with side effects like syncope, central nervous system depression, dizziness, drowsiness, fatigue, nausea, sedation, and hypotension. Insomnia is another reported adverse effect.

The central nervous system depressant effects of Addyi may be exacerbated by amoxapine. Addyi is primarily prescribed for women with HSDD who are premenopausal, have no history of low sexual desire issues, and experience persistent low sexual desire across various contexts and partners.

Addyi is not recommended for treating HSDD in menopausal women, men, or children. Its purpose is not to enhance sexual performance but to address issues related to low sexual desire.

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