While Viagra isn’t approved for use in women, a drug called Addyi is approved for use in certain women.
Some people refer to Addyi as “female Viagra.”
However, Addyi doesn’t work like Viagra does. Below, we describe the condition Addyi is approved to treat and how the drug works.
If you have questions about using Addyi, talk with your doctor.
What is Addyi?
Addyi is a brand-name prescription drug that’s approved to treat hypoactive sexual desire disorder (HDSS). It’s prescribed for women who haven’t yet gone through menopause. Addyi contains the active drug flibanserin. It’s not known for sure how Addyi works to treat HDSS.
What is HDSS and how does Addyi work to treat it?
With HDSS, you have very low sexual desire that’s troublesome for you. The condition can have various physical or psychological causes.
Unlike Viagra, which improves blood flow to male genitals, Addyi doesn’t work by improving blood flow to female genitals. Instead, Addyi affects the activity of certain neurotransmitters that are involved in sexual desire and arousal. (Neurotransmitters are chemicals found in your brain.)
The neurotransmitters affected by Addyi include dopamine, noradrenaline, and serotonin. But it’s not known for sure how the drug’s action affects sexual function.
How well does Addyi work?
For some women with HDSS, Addyi can improve sexual desire and increase the number of sexually satisfying events. But the drug hasn’t been found to be very effective.
For example, in clinical studies, treatment with Addyi was compared with that of a placebo (no active drug). The number of women whose HDSS was “much improved” or “very much improved” was only about 10% higher in women who took Addyi compared with women who took the placebo.
And keep in mind that it can take up to 8 weeks for Addyi to start working to treat HDSS.