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  • Female Hypoactive Sexual Disorder

    General overview of the service:

    Female Hypoactive Sexual Disorder

    Hypoactive Sexual Disorder (HSDD) is a condition characterized by low sexual desire that is distressing to the woman, and affects her relationship. It is not caused by any other medical or psychiatric condition, problems within the relationship, medication or other drug substance.

    Women diagnosed with HSDD are premenopausal, and previously had no problems with sexual desire, and the disorder occurs regardless of the type of sexual activity, the situation or the sexual partner.

    How the service is done:

    Your health practitioner will use a simple questionnaire to diagnose whether you have symptoms of Female Hypoactive Sexual Disorder. This will determine whether you might benefit from medication to treat this disorder.

    The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved Addyi (flibanserin) to treat acquired, generalized hypoactive sexual desire disorder (HSDD) in premenopausal women. Prior to Addyi’s approval, there were no FDA-approved treatments for sexual desire disorders in men or women.

    What methods are used:

    The Decreased Sexual Desire Screener (DSDS) is a simple tool that allows health practitioners to assess a patient’s symptoms. Your health practitioner might ask questions like:

    • Are you approaching menopause?
    • Could you be pregnant?
    • Are you sexually interested in your partner? Other partners? Or no partners?
    • What is your relationship with your partner like?
    • Do you feel stressed at work or at home?
    • Do you feel overwhelmed by work, childcare, or eldercare responsibilities?
    • Have you always felt this way? Or have your symptoms started recently?
    • Do you lack desire for all sexual activity? Or just certain activities?
    • What medications do you take?

    If your health practitioner determines that you might benefit from the medication Addyi, you will learn more about this medication and receive a prescription.

    Addyi targets three neurotransmitters. Two – dopamine and norepinephrine – promote sexual excitement. Addyi raises levels of these chemicals. The third – serotonin – is involved with sexual inhibition. Accordingly, Addyi lowers serotonin levels. Extensive clinical research has shown that this interaction helps many women with this disorder.

    Are there any side-effects:

    Because Addyi can cause drowsiness, it should be taken at bedtime. The standard dose is 100 mg of flibanserin in pill form.

    There is a potentially serious interaction with alcohol. Addyi can cause severely low blood pressure (hypotension) and loss of consciousness (syncope).

    These risks are increased and more severe when patients drink alcohol or take Addyi with certain medicines (known as moderate or strong CYP3A4 inhibitors) that interfere with the breakdown of Addyi in the body.

    Because of the alcohol interaction, the use of alcohol is contraindicated while taking Addyi. Health care professionals must assess the likelihood of the patient reliably abstaining from alcohol before prescribing Addyi.

    The most common adverse reactions associated with the use of Addyi are dizziness, somnolence (sleepiness), nausea, fatigue, insomnia and dry mouth.

    Follow-up treatments or next steps:

    Your health practitioner will advise you on follow-up steps.