• By Vivien Williams

Female Libido Drug: Is It Safe and Effective?

March 9, 2016

middle-aged couple outside hugging in the sunshine
In August 2015, the US Food and Drug Administration approved the medication flibanserin (Addyi) for use in premenopausal women with hypoactive sexual desire disorder (HSDD). Since then, some researchers have questioned its efficacy and safety, claiming the side effects may not be worth it.

Dr. Jordan Rullo, Mayo ClinicWomen's Health Clinic, is a member of the International Society for the Study of Women’s Sexual Health (ISSWSH). She and her colleagues support the use of this drug for the subset of women who benefit from it. Dr. Rullo says, "The recent meta-analysis on flibanserin puts into question its efficacy and safety, but this analysis has several flaws. Because of these flaws, in my opinion, the findings of this meta-analysis do not change what we already know about the safety and efficacy of flibanserin." For an explanation, visit the International Society for the Study of Women's Sexual Health website.

During the clinical trials that tested the safety and efficacy of flibanserin, researchers looked at three things: self-reported increase in desire, more sexually satisfying events and levels of sexual distress. Results showed a modest benefit. Dr. Rullo says that for this group, the medication increased self-reported sexual desire, increased the number of satisfying sexual events and decreased self-reported stress.

Watch Dr. Rullo's interview on flibanserin:

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