Our compliments to you for exploring ways to make your sexual experience more satisfying. Too many cultural forces give women the message that their sexuality is about something other than their own pleasure. The NWHN is proudly pro-sex and believes that all people have the right to satisfying sexual experiences.
Flibanserin (Addyi) is the first drug approved to treat Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder (HSDD) in premenopausal women. The drug isn’t great.
The FDA rejected flibanserin twice, originally because it wasn’t more effective than a placebo, and later because of safety concerns. The drug was finally approved in 2015, after a new sponsor convinced the FDA to allow it to change how it measured effectiveness. Using this new measurement, the drug is effective in about 10% of the women who try it, and those women experienced on average one more sexually satisfying event per month.
The NWHN cautions women against using the drug, because in addition to the very limited effectiveness (if at all) there are serious safety concerns for those who use flibanserin. Twice as many people who used flibanserin in the clinical trials had car accidents and other accidental injuries, mostly because of sudden loss of consciousness and dangerously low blood pressure. The FDA asked the sponsor to examine whether these dangerous complications were caused by combining flibanserin with alcohol. The first study to examine this found that combining flibanserin with 2-4 drinks caused loss of consciousness and dangerous drops in blood pressure. However, the sponsor recruited men for that study, which left women uncertain as to the risks for them of this drug. When it approved the drug, the FDA added a warning for women using the drug to completely avoid alcohol.
In April 2019, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration ordered Sprout Pharmaceuticals to update the label of their female libido pill, flibanserin (brand name: Addyi). The label change says women should discontinue drinking alcohol at least two hours before taking Addyi at bedtime or skip the Addyi dose that evening, and that women should not consume alcohol at least until the morning after taking Addyi at bedtime. The drug continues to carry a black box warning about potentially dangerous low blood pressure and fainting, especially when taken with alcohol. Patients taking the drug were previously told to completely avoid alcohol.
Given all this, some women have turned to other possible remedies for low libido, such as seeing a sex therapist, experimenting with sex toys, changing the dose or type of other medicines they’re taking that are known to reduce libido, or addressing relationship or personal stressors. The NWHN supports this approach to improving sexual satisfaction, as we know that loss of libido can come about for many reasons, not all of which could be addressed by a pill, even a much better pill than flibanserin.
That being said, if flibanserin is an avenue that you want to pursue (as you indicated in your question), it is your right to do so. If your insurance company does not cover the pill, you will have to absorb the cost on your own. According to the company’s website, if your commercial insurance covers Addyi, your cost is $25 per month. If it is not covered by your insurance, or if you choose to self-pay your cost is $99 per month for your prescription. For those buying flibanserin without insurance, the website recommends free home delivery as your lowest cost option.
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