Why Are Doctors Writing Prescriptions for SSRIs to Last Longer?

Dr. Laurence Levine Dr. Laurence Levine
Last updated 01/06/2022
SSRIs for premature ejaculation

Question asked by


I've had some bad experiences with Lexapro in the past for depression and stopped taking it a few months later. I don't want to take another antidepressant for my bedroom performance.

With all the side effects that came along with my antidepressant, I'm surprised doctors are recommending this as a treatment option.

Why are there some doctors recommending antidepressants for premature ejaculation?

Antidepressants have shown effectiveness for treating premature ejaculation, and some doctors may prescribe them "off-label" as a treatment option.

But why do they work and what side effect might you experience?

Here's a quick overview:

Antidepressant is a catch-all term for medications called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs).

Some you might be familiar with are:

  • Lexapro (as you mentioned)
  • Zoloft
  • Paxil
  • Prozac

These treatments are designed to help with depression by preventing serotonin (aka the feel-good chemical) from getting reabsorbed by the brain. By blocking the reuptake process, more serotonin stays in the brain, giving the user a more relaxed and positive mood.

It seems that one side effect of this balance is that it can delay orgasms. Since ejaculation stems from physical and emotional excitement, SSRIs have been shown to increase a person's ejaculation time.

Your physician may recommend you to take antidepressants daily.

Most doctors will recommend the daily approach since the medications require prolonged exposure to work effectively.

Side Effects You May See From Antidepressants

  • loss of sexual desire and other sexual problems, such as erectile dysfunction and decreased orgasm satisfaction or inability to reach orgasm
  • nausea, fatigue, and drowsiness
  • increased appetite which may lead to weight gain
  • Insomnia or poor sleep
  • dry mouth, blurred vision, and constipation

If you believe your early ejaculation is mild, you might consider using Promescent Delay Spray as an alternative to avoid the side effects that may come with taking an antidepressant.

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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