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Int J Womens Health. 2017 Oct 11;9:757-767. doi: 10.2147/IJWH.S83747. eCollection 2017.

Female sexual dysfunction: a focus on flibanserin.

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Department of Pharmacy Practice, Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, Albany, NY, USA.


Flibanserin is the first US Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved option for sexual dysfunction, specifically low sexual desire. Until recently, there were no FDA-approved medication options to assist the ~40% of women affected by female sexual dysfunction (FSD). Often, patients report feeling uncomfortable discussing sexual health, identifying a strong need for health care professionals (HCPs) to proactively reach out to patients to identify concerns and initiate a discussion about sexual health and the available treatment options. Within the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th Edition (DMS-5), the criteria of female sexual interest/arousal disorder (FSIAD) are outlined, encompassing one of the most common sexual concerns, formerly in its own category defined as hypoactive sexual desire disorder (HSDD) or low sexual desire. HSDD is the absence or deficiency of sexual interest and/or desire leading to significant distress and interpersonal difficulties. HCPs offer an important service in assessing their patients and providing information about treatment considerations while ensuring patient comfort with this topic. This article provides an overview of the types and potential causes associated with FSD and the role of flibanserin in practice as a treatment option. Despite a need for additional study in diverse populations, flibanserin has demonstrated efficacy with increased female sexual function index (FSFI) total and desire domain scores in clinical studies indicating benefit in sexual desire. Common patient or provider-administered assessment tools to assist in identifying affected patients and patient counseling strategies are reviewed.


female sexual dysfunction; flibanserin; hypoactive sexual desire disorder; low sexual desire; pharmacotherapy

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Disclosure The author reports no conflicts of interest in this work.

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