Is there a female version of Viagra?

Is there a female version of Viagra?

Eddie is a subscription service that delivers Viagra Connect to your door quickly and discreetly.

You might have heard of “female Viagra”, sometimes called the “little pink pill”. It’s a medicine called Addyi, a drug to manage sexual dysfunction in women. It was approved by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) for sale in America in 2015, but it isn’t available in the UK.

Although it’s often referred to as female Viagra, it isn’t. Viagra and Addyi both treat sexual disorders - but that’s almost all they have in common. There are a plethora of medicines available to treat sexual disorders in men, but Addyi is the first for women. It contains the active ingredient flibanserin and is designed to treat hypoactive sexual dysfunction disorder (HSDD).

What is HSDD?

Hypoactive sexual dysfunction disorder is a condition where women who haven’t gone through the menopause experience lowered libido (interest in sex). It’s characterised by having a previously satisfactory interest in sex, your libido dropping, and this drop causing you distress for 6 months or more. HSDD is not having low sex drive due to factors you’re aware of, such as relationship difficulties, medicine side effects or medical or mental health problems.

There’s one other thing that Viagra and Addyi have in common - they were both discovered whilst they being tested for other properties. Viagra was originally intended to be medicine to treat hypertension, and Flibanserin was originally tested as an antidepressant.

How does Addyi work?

Another important difference between Viagra and Addyi is that they work in two very different ways. Viagra helps men get an erection by relaxing blood vessels and increasing blood flow to the penis.

On the other hand, Addyi affects the levels of neurotransmitters in the brain, increasing sexual desire. However, according to the medicine’s office website, the “exact mechanism of action is not fully understood”.

You can’t drink alcohol whilst taking Addyi. At all.

Whilst Viagra can be taken relatively “on demand”, only taking an hour to have its effect, Addyi needs to be taken every day, and may take months to have any effect. Having to take the medicine every day makes Addyi quite an expensive option - one of several reasons the pill didn’t have the lift off you might expect. It also doesn’t have the massive, quick effect that Viagra is known for - its impact is pretty marginal.

Although Addyi was approved in 2015, it was rejected twice before by the FDA. It was rejected on grounds that the side effects hugely outweighed the benefits. Eventually it was approved on the condition that women were explicitly warned of the side effects.

So, what are the side effects of Addyi?

Like most medications, Addyi comes with side effects like nausea, tiredness and a dry mouth. However, there are some slightly more severe adverse effects which can occur. The risk of low blood pressure and subsequent fainting is so high when taking Addyi that patients are advised to not drink alcohol whilst taking it - at all. Remember that Addyi is taken every day, so that means giving up alcohol totally, as as little as two glasses of wine can cause adverse effects. It’s advised that Addyi is taken at bedtime to reduce the risk of dizziness, fainting and accidental injury.

How effective is Addyi?

You might think that to be worth managing these side effects for, Addyi would have a profound impact on women’s lives, but there isn’t evidence to suggest that. In fact, trials found that women who took Addyi had 0.5 - 1 more “sexually satisfying event” a month.

Whether the benefits of Addyi outweigh the risks is for each women to decide for herself, but for now, there isn’t a “female Viagra” available in the UK.


Eddie is a service that delivers Viagra Connect discreetly to your door. Treatment is available as a monthly subscription or one off purchase, starting from £19.99. Simply answer some questions from our pharmacist and you can purchase Viagra Connect in as little as 60 seconds.

Viagra Connect won’t give you an instant erection. You need to be sexually aroused for it to work and won’t help you if you don’t have ED symptoms.

Content Marketing Officer
Content Marketing Officer
Libby Mayfield

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