In a new interview with the Daily Mail, Somers, 73, confessed that she and her husband, Alan Hamel, 83, engage in intercourse twice a day. “I’m kind of in that groove, like when you were younger and you’re in the mood all the time,” she said. The source? A “sexy stimulant that works on your brain,” called PT-141.
According to Somers, who’s currently also on bioidentical hormones (aka, hormones made from plants) along with her husband, she decided to add weekly shots of PT-141, a “melanocortin-based peptide” after learning about “sexual benefits” related to the shots.
“I thought, ‘Wow, what a great thing,” Somers said, comparing the shot to Viagra. “This is actually a shot for both men and women that’s not a drug. It just stimulates that part of your brain that says, ‘Hey, I’m kind of in the mood.’ And, so, isn’t that a wonderful thing? And it’s not a drug, so I love it.’”
While the shots definitely keep her aroused, she admits that she struggles to stay awake during both rounds of intercourse. “I usually say I sleep through one of them. That’s usually that one at 4 o’clock in the morning,” she joked. “But, you know, then again around 8 o’clock in the morning, I’m in the mood.”
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Wait, what are these PT-141 shots?
According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), PT-141, which sold under the branded name Vyleesi and the generic bremelanotide, was approved to treat hypoactive sexual desire disorder (HSDD) in premenopausal women in June 2019.
According to a press release from the FDA, those with HSDD are “women who, for no known reason, have reduced sexual desire that causes marked distress.” The American Sexual Health Association goes on to define HSDD as “the absence of sexual fantasies and thoughts, and/or desire for or receptivity to, sexual activity that causes personal distress or difficulties in her relationship.”
Somers, however, is post-menopausal, and her husband is a male, so neither fall into the FDA-approved audience for the drug. One small 2006 study in the Annals of The New York Academy of Sciences, however, found that the drug could also hold promise as a treatment for erectile dysfunction.
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While, according to the FDA’s press release, the exact mechanism of PT-141 or Vyleesi is unknown, the injections are taken under the skin of the abdomen or thigh 45 minutes before sexual activity. The injections are only recommended for use once every 24 hours and no more than eight per month.
But, while the shots can be helpful in increasing sexual desire—25% of women who took Vyleesi saw an increase in sexual desire, versus 17% of women who took placebo, per the FDA—the medication can come with side effects, including nausea, vomiting, and headaches. Additionally, per the FDA, the shot is not recommended for those with cardiovascular disease or high blood pressure, as the trials found that it temporarily increases blood pressure.
Overall, if PT-141 or Vyleesi sounds interesting to you, you should definitely take it up with your doctor—and also temper your expectations (i.e., don’t expect a sex-twice-a-day schedule like Somers), since medications can affect everyone differently.