When drugs such as Sildenafil (Viagra), Tadalafil (Cialis), and Vardenafil (Levitra) which correct erectile dysfunction in men were approved by the FDA, there was much celebration. Then attention shifted to women. Can women’s libido be enhanced with sex pills? Can there be sex pills for women?
Drug companies began to experiment with new drugs to help women improve their sexual experiences. Viagra for women was not approved by the FDA so new drugs were really needed to help women going through the distress of low sexual arousal. In fact, research shows that 4 out of 10 women had problems with sexual desires.
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However, FDA has approved some sex medication for women as a treatment for low sexual arousal in premenopausal women. The prescription drug called Flibanserin (Addyi) which was initially developed as an antidepressant is now among the drugs approved by the FDA as a sex pill.
Women with low sex drive can take a daily pill of Addyi to boost their libido. However, there are side effects associated with the sex pill. They include low blood pressure, dizziness, and fainting especially if the pill is mixed with alcohol. FDA advises you to abstain from alcohol if you’re taking this drug. On the other hand, experts say you should discontinue the sex pill if you don’t notice any improvement in your sexual desires after 8 weeks.
Another sex medication is the injectable Bremelanotide (Vyleesi) which has been approved by the FDA as a treatment for low sex drive in premenopausal women. The medication is to be injected in the abdomen or thigh at least 45 minutes before an expected sexual activity. But caution must be applied while using Vyleesi. It should not be used more than once a day or more than 8 times a month. The likely side effects are headache, nausea, vomiting, flushing and hot flashes, irritation or rashes at the injection site, fatigue, dizziness, and a decreased heart rate.
Your health care provider will help you make the right choices.
Women who experience a lack of sexual desire or have difficulty getting sexual satisfaction often suffer in silence. It is important to know some of the factors that cause low sex drive in women. This will help you know how to adjust before opting for pills.
Below are some of the factors that cause low sexual desire in women.
- Daily Stress: Daily stress can obliterate the desire for sexual activity in women.
- Life Changes: Life changes such as getting a new partner, getting pregnant, or reaching menopause can affect a woman’s sexual desires. These can make a woman have an increased or decrease sexual appetite.
- Psychological Issues: Depression, trauma, anxiety, negative thoughts, or bad memories can affect a woman’s body. These can hinder a woman’s body from reacting sexually to her partner’s sexual overtures.
- Level of Intimacy: Intimacy with your partner is important to your sex life. If your mind is not open to your partner or you don’t feel that strong affection, it may affect your sexual desires. Again quarrels and unresolved issues with your partner can affect the mind and affect your sexual desire. You may find yourself struggling to react sexually to your partner with difficulty.
- Chronic Conditions: Health conditions such as diabetics or multiple sclerosis can change a woman’s body and affect her sexual arousal.
- Sociocultural issues: A woman’s socio-cultural upbringing can affect her perspective on sex. Some were brought up to consider sex with disapproval. While some religious groups give the impression that sex shouldn’t be enjoyed. Anyone with these mindsets could have problems having sexual desires.
How do Sex Pills Work?
Research shows that Addyi alters the serotonin system of the brain and affects dopamine indirectly. In a situation where low sexual arousal is connected to serotonin levels in the brain, Addyi may help. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter connected to arousing pleasure and motivation.
On the other hand, Vyleesi touches melanocortin receptors which are connected to sexual functions. The drug regulates the part of the brain that is connected to receiving sexual pleasure.
How Long Do the Effects Last?
Addyi is effective for 11 hours. If a person has a liver problem even if it’s mild, the drug can last up to 26 hours in the body. The drug is best taken with food as the body will absorb it much faster and better. After taking the medication for 3 days, there’s a steady level of the drug in the body. However, anyone who doesn’t metabolize CYP2C19, an enzyme protein will have the drug build up in her body which could lead to side effects.
Vyleesi lasts for 2.7 hours in the body and it takes an average of 6.5 hours to finally clear from the body. Vyleesi is capable of slowing down the rate at which the body processes other medication.
Who Shouldn’t Take Addyi?
- If you have liver conditions, you should avoid the sex pill.
- If you use oral contraceptives, you shouldn’t use them.
- If you’re taking CYP3A4, Addyi isn’t for you.
- If you had consumed alcohol in the last 2 hours, don’t use the sex pill.
Note that Vyleesi can make drugs containing naltrexone used in treating alcohol and opioid addiction less effective. So don’t use Vyleesi if you’re on medication that contains naltrexone. Addyi and Vyleesi can cause allergic reactions in some people.
If you need any sex-enhancing drugs, consult your health care provider for guidance to ensure safety. Your health care provider will be in the best position to offer you the right treatment. Make sure you keep to the guidelines to avoid any problems.