Does 5-HTP Help with Premature Ejaculation?

Dr. Laurence Levine
Board Certified Urologist, expert in male sexual dysfunction Dr. Laurence Levine
Last updated 10/31/2023
5-htp for premature ejaculation

Question asked by


I have been doing a lot of research on premature ejaculation lately, and I have seen tons of treatment options out there, but I am still not sure which one is right for me. Then I talked to my older brother, who told me about 5-HTP and how it makes him last longer in bed.

Is it really true that 5-HTP can cure premature ejaculation? What dosage of 5-HTP should I be taking for my PE?

5-HTP may work to treat premature ejaculation by increasing serotonin which can cause a delay in ejaculation time for some men.

While it may not be a cure for everyone, it can be very effective for some individuals suffering from severe PE.

What is 5-HTP?

5-HTP, or 5-Hydroxytryptophan, is an amino acid that turns into serotonin when ingested.

The naturally occurring supplement is often used to treat:

  • anxiety
  • depression
  • insomnia

It has also gained attention for its possible benefits against premature ejaculation.

5-HTP can be purchased over-the-counter online or in stores throughout the US without a prescription.

Similar to other antidepressants, an increase in serotonin often causes delayed ejaculation.

Unlike other treatments, taking 5-HTP to last longer in bed may take around two weeks to start working as the body needs time to convert the amino acid into enough serotonin to make a noticeable difference.

The average 5-HTP dosage for premature ejaculation is 50mg daily, although some users take anywhere up to 300mg daily for a more noticeable effect.

However, dosages higher than 300mg are generally not recommended.

There are some noted side effects for all dosages, including:

  • Nausea
  • Heartburn
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Sleepiness
  • Muscle pains and spasms

For some individuals, the ejaculation delaying effect may be stronger than desired.

5-HTP Results for Premature Ejaculation

Some studies have shown that taking 5-HTP for premature ejaculation can help by inhibiting ejaculation for a long time during sex.

These studies noted that it was effective, although there may be a 1-2 week period before the supplement works.

Other papers noted that 5-HTP increases serotonin in a similar way to antidepressants like SSRIs.

These drugs are also known for their side effects regarding delayed or inhibited ejaculations and sometimes a lowered libido.

While 5-HTP is not as strong as prescribed SSRIs, it can have side effects ranging from nausea to restlessness, muscle aches, and mood alterations, both positive and negative.

The potential for a lowered libido is also worrisome for those looking to treat PE.

Since side effects are often highly individualized and sometimes dosage-dependent, it's important to stop using 5-HTP if any unwanted side effects occur.

Should You Try 5-HTP to Last Longer?

5-HTP will likely help many men to last longer during sex, but the fact that it may take up to two weeks to work along with some unpleasant side effects makes it a more difficult solution than others.

In comparison, a product like Lidocaine can work in as little as 10 minutes, and it has multiple studies backing its efficacy along with FDA guidelines for its use as a PE treatment.

With Lidocaine products like the Promescent Delay Spray or Promescent Delay Wipes, users can simply apply the preset amount to temporarily desensitize the penis against overstimulation.

This desensitizing effect doesn’t transfer to partners, and it can help men increase their time before ejaculation to effectively treat PE.

Compared to 5-HTP, which can take weeks to work, has different effective dosages for each individual, and may feature uncomfortable side effects, lidocaine is a simpler solution that is as effortless as it is effective.


In short, the 5-HTP supplement may provide a cure for those suffering from PE, but it probably shouldn’t be the first treatment option for most men.

Other options, including Lidocaine, work faster and are simpler to use than 5-HTP.

If other treatments aren’t working, then 5-HTP may be worth trying to help stop severe PE.

The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition

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  • Giuliano F. (2007). 5-Hydroxytryptamine in premature ejaculation: opportunities for therapeutic intervention. Trends in neurosciences, 30(2), 79–84. Accessed July 26, 2022.
  • Maffei ME. 5-Hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP): Natural Occurrence, Analysis, Biosynthesis, Biotechnology, Physiology and Toxicology. Int J Mol Sci. 2020 Dec 26;22(1):181. doi: 10.3390/ijms22010181. PMID: 33375373; PMCID: PMC7796270. Accessed July 26, 2022.
  • Henry, R., & Morales, A. (2003). Topical lidocaine-prilocaine spray for the treatment of premature ejaculation: a proof of concept study. International journal of impotence research, 15(4), 277–281. Accessed July 26, 2022.
The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.