Medicines have benefits and some have risks. Always read the label and use only as directed. If symptoms persist or you have side effects see your health professional. Brands and generics both contain the same active ingredient(s) and are medically equivalent. Some brands are marketed under different names by the same manufacturing country depending on the country of origin.
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Addyi (flibanserin) is unique, non-hormonal treatment designed to increase sexual desire in women who are experiencing a loss of desire for sex. It is not suitable for all women and will not help when low sexual desire is caused by certain other factors. It does not have any beneficial effects when taken by men.
Before taking this medication it's important to understand that:
The way Addyi works is fairly complex; in simple terms, it inhibits chemicals in the brain that inhibit sexual desire while stimulating chemicals which promote sexual desire. In slightly more technical terms, it decreases serotonin levels while increasing dopamine and norepinephrine levels.
Addyi was formulated to treat generalized Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder (HSDD), also called Inhibited Sexual Desire (ISD) and female sexual interest/arousal disorder. The medication's effects are relatively subtle and will not override a lack of attraction---mental and/or emotional stimulation is still required to produce sexual desire. In other words, it will not cause women to indiscriminately desire sex with anyone willing to participate.
Addyi comes in tablets containing 100 mg of flibanserin. It is not available in any other strength. Treatment is straightforward, but instructions should be followed carefully:
There are several reasons this medication should be taken at bedtime; it may cause lightheadedness, dizziness and drowsiness, but most significantly it may produce a significant drop in blood pressure which can result in severe dizziness and even fainting if active. If these symptoms do occur while up and active, sitting or laying down and remaining calm usually helps them pass. If these symptoms are severe and/or persistent enough to be disruptive a doctor should be consulted and/or stopping treatment should be considered.
Like any medication, Addyi can produce side effects and, particularly if misused, some of them can be serious. Fortunately most are mild, including:
Not everyone experiences side effects, and among those who do they are often transient, fading away as the body adjusts to treatment. Dizziness or lightheadedness to such an extreme that fainting seems likely, or actual fainting episodes, are not acceptable side effects and warrant medical attention. These symptoms are likely due to very low blood pressure, which can be just as dangerous as very high blood pressure.
It is important to note that alcohol, even in small amounts, significantly increases risk of all side effects, including dangerous drops in blood pressure. Patients are strongly advised to avoid all alcoholic beverages for the duration of treatment. If this advice is ignored, be very alert for dizziness, confusion, lightheadedness, blurred vision, severe nausea, and other symptoms of low blood pressure, though these symptoms are often indistinguishable from the effects of alcohol itself. Seek medical attention if in doubt---better safe than sorry.