Addyi (flibanserin), a drug that helps balance chemical messengers in the brain, led to improvements in sexual desire (libido) and better health-related quality of life for premenopausal women using hormone therapy for breast cancer, according to research presented at the 2023 American Society of Clinical Oncology Annual Meeting.

The study enrolled 37 women with Stage 0 to Stage III breast cancer who had been on hormone therapy for at least three months and were experiencing low libido. They took Addyi once daily at bedtime for six months and were followed for about a year. The drug works by altering levels of the neurotransmitters serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine.

The participants saw significant improvements in sexual desire, arousal, lubrication, orgasm and satisfaction. What’s more, they reported less pain and distress during sex and an increased number of sexually satisfying events as well as improved sleep. “Decreased libido is an extremely prevalent, undertreated and distressing symptom in women with breast cancer on endocrine therapy,” said Shari Goldfarb, MD, of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. “Having a medication to treat this often unaddressed issue will improve the quality of life and sexual function of millions of women with breast cancer.”