Archives of Women's Mental Health

, Volume 20, Issue 2, pp 243–247 | Cite as

Flibanserin and its discontents

  • Awais Aftab
  • Cheryl Chen
  • Jacob McBride
Review Article


In August 2015, flibanserin (brand name Addyi) was approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for treatment of acquired, generalized hypoactive sexual desire disorder (HSDD) in premenopausal women. This article summarizes and promotes discussion regarding the numerous controversies that have enclosed flibanserin since the very beginning. This includes questions related to flibanserin’s safety and efficacy and the validity of the clinical trials. Also included are philosophical considerations surrounding the diagnosis of hypoactive sexual desire disorder and pharmacological treatment of low libido. Based on the review of literature, authors judge flibanserin to be modestly effective and reasonably safe, and discuss the differences in philosophical perspectives with less definitive answers.


Flibanserin Hypoactive sexual desire disorder Female sexuality Women’s mental health Ethics 



The authors would like to thank Erum Ahmad and John DeMott for their helpful thoughts and suggestions.

Authors’ contributions

AA conceived of the subject and conceptualized the outline of the paper. The literature search, writing, and editing were done by all three authors collaboratively.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.



IRB approval

Not applicable


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Wien 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychiatryCase Western Reserve University/University Hospitals Cleveland Medical CenterClevelandUSA
  2. 2.Center of Excellence in Public Service PsychiatryUniversity of Pittsburgh Western Psychiatric Institute and ClinicPittsburghUSA

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