Dapoxetine for Premature Ejaculation

Dapoxetine, also called Priligy, is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI, commonly known as anti-depressants) that is designed specifically for premature ejaculation. SSRIs have been shown to be an effective treatment for PE. In general, one of the major downsides to most SSRIs is they must be taken daily in order to achieve the desired effect. However, unlike those other SSRIs, dapoxetine is explicitly intended to treat premature ejaculation (PE) and to be taken on an "as needed" basis. It’s been proven to be effective when taken about 3 hours before sexual activity, and studies have shown that dapoxetine increases the intra-vaginal ejaculation latency time (IELT), which is the time from vaginal penetration to male orgasm. We dive deeper into more about dapoxetine below.

Key Takeaways

Note: Dapoxetine and Priligy are not approved by the FDA, meaning you cannot obtain a prescription in the U.S.

The SSRI family of drugs are most often prescribed and used as anti-depressants. When dapoxetine was originally created, it was intended to be a new anti-depressant, but that never came to be. Rather, an unintended result was discovered – the drug is effective in delaying orgasm.

While it’s true they’re most often used to treat depression, SSRIs are sometimes prescribed by physicians to help combat PE. In general, many SSRIs have been found to be effective in delaying ejaculation, but dapoxetine is the first drug of this kind that’s now manufactured purely for this purpose.

Dapoxetine is prescribed and available in two different dosages: 30mg and 60mg. Most men start out using the lower dose, and then, if necessary, their doctor may move them up to a 60mg dose.

Dapoxetine is approved for use and marketed in more than 50 countries around the world. As of early 2018, the drug was available in: Argentina, Australia, Austria, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Philippines, Portugal, South Korea, Spain, Sweden and Uruguay. The drug is currently not approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the United States.

The following summary data was taken from the article Dapoxetine: a new option in the medical management of premature ejaculation (McMahon, Chris G, Ther Adv Urol. 2012 October; 4(5): 233-251). In the article, the author presents information and results of clinical trials of dapoxetine. We encourage physicians and patients to read the entire document.

The most comprehensive results from this work come from the Phase III studies that include 6,081 subjects ranging in age from 18-82 years. In a double-blind study, each of roughly one-third of patients received one of the following doses: 30mg dapoxetine, 60mg dapoxetine or a placebo.

Priligy and Other Trade Names

Priligy is the brand name for the Johnson & Johnson's dapoxetine. Originally created by the Eli Lilly pharmaceutical company, dapoxetine was sold to Johnson & Johnson in 2003. In 2012, Furiex Pharmaceuticals entered into an agreement with ALZA Corp and Janssen Pharmaceutica (both part of Johnson & Johnson) whereby Furiex will obtain worldwide distribution rights of Priligy. In the same year, Furiex entered into a license agreement with international pharmaceutical company Menarini to commercialize Priligy in Africa, most of Asia, Europe, Latin America and the Middle East.

Effectiveness of Dapoxetine for PE

The results from the study that looked at the effectiveness of dapoxetine for PE are detailed and explained below.

Inter-Vaginal Latency Time

For men with an average baseline IELT of 0.9 minutes, the average IELT improved to 3.1 minutes after taking a 30mg dose of dapoxetine, and to 3.6 minutes after taking a 60 mg dose. In comparison, patients who took the placebo improved to 1.9 minutes.

 Inter-Vaginal Latency Time. Effects of Dapoxetine on IELT

Percentage of Good/Very Good Ejaculatory Control
The first of the subjective scores depicts a subject's feeling of having ejaculatory control. The percent of subjects who believed they had "good or very good" control is shown in the chart below. Of those men who took a 30mg dose, 11 percent reported feeling “good/very good” in terms of their ejaculatory control. With the 60mg dose, that number grew to 26 percent. Thirty-one percent of the placebo participants responded that they felt as if they had “good/very good” control.

 Dapoxetine and Sexual Satisfaction

Percent of Good/Very Good Sexual Satisfaction

The study also looked at how subjects rated their sexual satisfaction after taking dapoxetine. The baseline was 16 percent, and subjects were responding to if they had "good or very good" sexual satisfaction. Of the participants who were administered 30mg doses, 25 percent said they had “good/very good” sexual satisfaction; that number rose to 35 percent for those who received the 60mg dose. And 39 percent of subjects receiving the placebo said they had “good/very good” satisfaction.

 Dapoxetine good or very good sexual satisfaction.

These next two charts are shown as horizontal bar charts to better distinguish that positive results are lower scores.
Percent of Quite a Bit/Extreme Personal Distress

The first chart shows the percent of subjects who described their ejaculatory-related personal distress as "quite a bit or extreme." The baseline number is 79 percent of men who felt “quite a bit/extreme personal distress” due to their PE. After being administered dapoxetine, 41 percent of those given 30mg, and 30 percent of those given 60mg, reported “quite a bit/extreme personal distress.” Twenty-one percent of the placebo subjects reported feeling “quite a bit/extreme personal distress.”

Dapoxetine personal distress

Percent of Quite a Bit/Extreme Interpersonal Distress

This charts shows the percent of subjects who described their ejaculatory-related interpersonal distress as "quite a bit or extreme." The term interpersonal refers to “with a partner.” With a baseline of 79 percent, 26 percent of men who took 30mg, and just six percent of those who took 60mg, felt “quite a bit/extreme personal distress” after taking the drug. Eleven percent of men given the placebo felt this way.

 Interpersonal Distress

Dapoxetine Side Effects

Anytime you take a drug, you risk suffering from potential side effects. The same is true for men taking dapoxetine in both the 30mg and the 60mg dose. The most common of these side effects can include nausea, dizziness, headache, diarrhea, nasopharyngitis, somnolence, insomnia and fatigue. The following table shows the percent of subjects who experienced various adverse side effects after taking dapoxetine.

Dapoxetine Side Effects

The side effects of priligy can range from mildly uncomfortable to more severe.

  • The most common reported side effect is nausea – 11 percent of men who took the 30mg dose experienced nausea, and 22.2 percent of men who took 60mg reported feeling nauseous.
  • Dizziness was the second most common side effect, with a reported 5.8 percent of men who took 30mgs and 10.9 percent of those who took 60mg stating they were dizzy.
  • Headaches were the third most common side effect – 5.6 percent of men who took 30mgs, and 8.8 percent of those who took 60mgs, reported experiencing a headache as a result.
  • When it came to diarrhea, 3.5 percent (30mg) and 6.9 percent (60mg) of men experienced this unpleasant side effect.
  • And 3.1 percent (with a 30mg dose) and 4.7 percent (with a 60mg dose) reported somnolence.
  • The remaining side effects (fatigue, insomnia, and nasopharyngitis) were all between 2.0 and 3.2 percent of those who took 30mgs, and between 4.1 and 2.9 percent of those who took 60mgs.

Dapoxetine (aka priligy) is a prescribed SSRI that is used to treat PE. And for some men, taking priligy for PE can be effective. Fortunately, there is a lot of research-based results available for men to review before deciding to try dapoxetine to treat their premature ejaculation. If you have questions about treatment for PE, you should consult your physician or a reputable urologist.

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