How to work with the new libido-enhancing drug for women?

In a study of more than 1,200 pre-menopausal women with HSDD, and 25 percent of those who are bremelanotide, and saw a number of improvements in their reported sexual desire score, compared with 17 percent who took a placebo.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has recently approved a new drug for the treatment of low libido in women.

But what exactly does the drug work, and what makes it different from other drugs on the market.


The drug, called bremelanotide (brand name Vyleesi) has been approved for the treatment of premenopausal women with hypoactive sexual desire disorder (HSDD), a condition in which there is a low sexual desire causing personal distress, the FDA said in a statement. This is only the second FDA-approved drug for HSDD in women.

Women’s self-administering of an injection under the skin of the abdomen or the thigh, for at least 45 minutes prior to anticipated sexual activity. Women should not take more than one dose of bremelanotide, within a period of 24 hours or more, up to eight doses per month.

In a study of more than 1,200 pre-menopausal women with HSDD, and 25 percent of those who are bremelanotide, and saw a number of improvements in their reported sexual desire score, compared with 17 percent who took a placebo.

Bremelanotide binds to receptors in the brain called the melanocortin receptors, which play an important role in many biological functions, such as metabolism and food intake, skin pigmentation, and pain regulation. However, it is not clear how the drug works to boost sexual desire, the FDA said.


However, the main theory is that bremelanotide works by increasing dopamine, a substance in the brain that are involved in reward processing) in specific areas of the brain, said Sheryl Kingsberg, chief of the Division of Behavioral Medicine at University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center, who has studied bremelanotide. This, in turn, it allows the women to the process of erotic stimulation, as if the effort is worth it,” said Kingsberg, who has received a consulting payment of AMAG Pharmaceuticals, markets Vyleesi, and Palatin Technologies, which developed the drug.

Kingsberg said, Knowing that it is a theory, that is, the normal sexual function relies on a balance of excitatory and inhibitory signals in the brain, and HSDD is the result of not enough excitement, too much or too little inhibition. Within this line of thinking, bremelanotide is believed to facilitate the signal response due to the release of dopamine, ” she said.

The only FDA-approved medicine for HSDD, is flibanserin (brand name Addyi). Flibanserin works on a different brain receptor, and it inhibits the production of the brain chemical serotonin, Kingsberg said. Serotonin is thought to reduce the sex drive, in part, by inhibiting the excitatory dopaminergic system in accordance with a 2017 review in The Journal of Sexual Medicine.

The two drugs also differ in their dosing, frequency, flibanserin must be taken every day before going to bed, as bremelanotide, is taken into account as necessary. The use of drugs for the treatment of male sexual dysfunction, such as sildenafil (brand name Viagra), in particular, focused on the enzyme called phosphodiesterase 5 (PDE5), which plays an important role in the regulation of the flow of blood to the penis. By blocking the enzyme, if the total effect is to increase the blood flow to the penis, which directs to an erection. However, if you do not boost sex drive.

The most common side effects of flibanserin include sleepiness and dizziness, while the most common side effect of bremelanotide, is nausea, Kingsberg said.

In trials of bremelanotide, which is 40 per cent of women will experience nausea, usually with the first infusion of the drug, and 13 percent is needed in order for the treatments for their nausea, the FDA said. Still, more than 90 per cent of the women who suffer from nausea and vomiting continued to be the drug-test, which suggests that the nausea was mild, and if they are of the opinion that the benefits of the drug outweigh the side effects, Kingsberg said.


Bremelanotide may not be used in people with uncontrolled high blood pressure or heart disease, the FDA said. In addition, patients should stop taking any of the bremelanotide and after eight weeks, if they have not experienced an improvement in their level of sexual desire and related distress.

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Originally published on Live Science.

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