The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved a new drug for the treatment of hypoactive sexual desire disorder in premenopausal women. Bremelanotide (to be marketed as Vyleesi) is used on-demand. Bremelanotide is a peptide which acts as a melanocortin receptor agonist. Its mechanism of action is distinct from flibanserin and is thought to have a better side effect profile.
When injected under the skin of the abdomen or thigh at least 45 minutes before sexual activity, women using bremelanotide reported improvements in sexual desire scores compared with women receiving a placebo (25% vs. 17%). As has been seen with other medications used to treat female sexual dysfunction, the benefit is relatively modest.
Ruta Nonacs, MD PhD
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