Addyi (Flibanserin)

Addy (Flibanserin) is a non-hormonal pill that works to restore balance to key chemicals in the brain, involved in the sexual desire response for women.



Dr. Altman has been involved with the development of Addyi, as an advisor, over the past six years, first with Boehringer-Ingelheim, where the drug was developed, and then with Sprout Pharmaceuticals, a company formed specifically to bring Addyi through FDA approval and onto the market. As President of the Int’l. Society for the Study of Women’s Sexual Health (ISSWSH), the largest professional society in the world focused solely on female sexual dysfunction (FSD), Dr. Altman has been involved with the search for the first pharmaceutical options for women dealing with all areas of female sexual dysfunction (FSD), especially for low or absent sexual desire (HSDD: hypoactive sexual desire disorder). Having such options available would augment the present therapeutic options such as psycho-sexual and couples counseling, and hormonal therapy, that are extremely important modalities in dealing with FSD.

Addyi was just recently approved by the FDA for use in “pre-menopausal women with acquired, generalized HSDD, not due to a co-existing medical or psychiatric condition, problems with the relationship, or the effects of a medication or other drug substance, and who are distressed by the loss of desire.” In other words, when there is no other obvious cause of the problem, and it bothers them! Addyi has also been studied in post-menopausal women successfully, and will be prescribed “off-label” for those women as well. In fact, post menopausal women in long term relationships are more frequently affected by HSDD than any other group of women.
In addition to the above, as an experienced Sexual Medicine specialist, and Past-President of ISSWSH, Dr. Altman is uniquely qualified to advise patients about Addyi, and whether or not the drug would be useful for them.

There has been an incredible focus by the media on this drug’s approval process, and much has been written that tends to over emphasize potential side effects. Addyi has also been referred to as “the female Viagra”, which is catchy, but somewhat misleading as to its actual function. Addyi is a non-hormonal pill that works to restore balance to key chemicals in the brain involved with sexual desire in women. It can help “restore” sex drive back to normal, not to enhance an already normal sex drive. Unlike the Viagra-type drugs for men, which are taken when they want to have sex, Addyi is taken every night at bedtime, and may take 4-8 weeks to work successfully. If it is not helping by 8 weeks, there is generally no reason to continue it.

And, as of October 17, 2015 Addyi is now available in any certified pharmacy!

Before scheduling a phone consultation, be sure to review the Addyi FAQs, which will give much more information about the drug’s actions and potential side effects. Dr. Altman looks forward to discussing Addyi with you when you are ready for a consultation.