A selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) developed specifically for the treatment of premature ejaculation is safe and effective for men severely affected by the condition, according to an Article in this week's issue of The Lancet.
Premature ejaculation is the most common form of male sexual dysfunction, affecting 21-33% of men. Although the condition is highly undertreated, SSRIs, which were developed to treat depression and other psychiatric disorders, are being increasingly used as unlicensed treatments for premature ejaculation based on their side-effect of delayed ejaculation. However, these drugs can have drawbacks such as psychiatric problems, skin reactions, changes in bodyweight, and sexual side-effects like loss of libido.
In the study Jon Pryor (University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN, USA) and colleagues combined the results of two trials testing the effectiveness of dapoxetine, a short-acting SSRI developed specifically for the treatment of premature ejaculation. The analysis involved over 2600 men with moderate to severe premature ejaculation and their partners. Patients were randomly assigned to receive placebo (870), 30 mg dapoxetine (874), or 60 mg dapoxetine (870) and were instructed to take a dose 1-3 hours before sexual intercourse. On average, at the start of the study, the men ejaculated under a minute after penetration. The researchers found that after 12 weeks the time to ejaculation was 1.75 minutes for placebo, 2.78 minutes for 30 mg dapoxetine, and 3.32 minutes for 60 mg dapoxetine.
Dr Pryor adds: "Dapoxetine also improved patients' perceptions of control over ejaculation, satisfaction with sexual intercourse, and overall impression of change in condition. Partners benefited through improved satisfaction with sexual intercourse."
Common side-effects of the drug were nausea, diarrhoea, headache and dizziness.