Flibanserin and Alcohol: What You Need to Know

  • Jul, 16 2023

Understanding Flibanserin

Before we delve into the relationship between Flibanserin and alcohol, it is essential to understand what Flibanserin is. Flibanserin, marketed under the brand name Addyi, is a medication approved by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) for the treatment of premenopausal women suffering from hypoactive sexual desire disorder (HSDD). HSDD is characterized by a low sexual desire that causes personal distress or interpersonal relationship difficulties. This disorder is not due to a co-existing medical or psychiatric condition, problems within the relationship, or the effects of a medication or other drug substance.

How Flibanserin Works

Flibanserin is not a hormone. It works by targeting the neurotransmitters in the brain that are responsible for sexual desire. Neurotransmitters are chemicals in the brain that transmit signals from one nerve cell to another. Flibanserin specifically targets dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin. These neurotransmitters are responsible for feelings of motivation, reward, and mood, which all play a critical role in sexual desire. It’s important to note that Flibanserin is not an instant solution to sexual desire issues; it may take several weeks before any changes are noticed.

The Role of Alcohol in Flibanserin Treatment

Now that we understand what Flibanserin is and how it works, we can delve into the role of alcohol in Flibanserin treatment. Alcohol is known to interact with many medications, and Flibanserin is no exception. Alcohol increases the risk of severe low blood pressure (hypotension) and fainting (syncope) when taken with Flibanserin. This is because both alcohol and Flibanserin can cause a drop in blood pressure, and when combined, this effect can be intensified.

Understanding the Risks

The risks associated with combining Flibanserin and alcohol cannot be understated. The FDA issued a black box warning, the strongest warning it can issue, on drinking alcohol while taking Flibanserin. It is recommended that women who are prescribed Flibanserin should abstain from alcohol. Drinking alcohol while taking Flibanserin can lead to severe hypotension and unconsciousness, and the risk is higher in the first few hours after consuming alcohol. Additionally, the risk of these side effects is also higher in people who have just started taking Flibanserin or have just increased their dose.

Managing Flibanserin Treatment and Alcohol Intake

Managing Flibanserin treatment and alcohol intake can be a challenge, but it is not impossible. It requires clear communication with your healthcare provider and a commitment to your health. If you are prescribed Flibanserin, it is essential to discuss your alcohol consumption with your healthcare provider. If you do not feel that you can abstain from alcohol while on this medication, it's important to discuss this with your healthcare provider to evaluate if Flibanserin is the right treatment for you.

Taking Flibanserin Safely

Taking Flibanserin safely is essential to managing your HSDD effectively. It's crucial to take the medication as directed by your healthcare provider and to avoid alcohol. It's also important to discuss any other medications or supplements you are taking, as Flibanserin can interact with other drugs. Remember, Flibanserin is not a quick fix for low sexual desire. It may take a few weeks before you notice any changes in your sexual desire. During this time, it's important to keep open communication with your healthcare provider and to report any side effects or concerns.