Premature ejaculation (PE) is a common and treatable condition that affects approximately one in three men at some point in their life. It can be a frustrating experience for both the individual and their sexual partner, making sex less enjoyable. Fortunately, there are several treatments available to help manage PE, including prescription medications such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and phosphodiesterase type 5 (PDE5) inhibitors. SSRIs are the most commonly prescribed medications for PE.
These antidepressants work by increasing serotonin levels in the brain, which can help delay ejaculation. Common SSRIs used to treat PE include citalopram (Celexa) and fluoxetine (Prozac, Sarafem). Side effects may include headache, facial flushing, and indigestion. PDE5 inhibitors are another type of medication used to treat PE.
These drugs work by blocking the action of an enzyme called phosphodiesterase type 5, which helps relax the muscles in the penis and increase blood flow. Common PDE5 inhibitors used to treat PE include sildenafil (Viagra), tadalafil (Cialis, Adcirca), avanafil (Stendra), and vardenafil. Dapoxetine is another type of SSRI specifically designed for the treatment of premature ejaculation. It can be taken daily or on demand, usually 1 to 3 hours before having sex but not more than once a day.
If SSRIs and PDE5 inhibitors don't work, your doctor may prescribe an antidepressant called clomipramine (Anafranil, Clofranil). Certain antidepressants have the side effect of delaying orgasm. In addition to prescription medications, there are other treatments available for PE. If the cause of premature ejaculation is psychological, emotional, or due to relationship problems (due to performance anxiety, depression, stress, guilt, or a troubled relationship), seek help from a psychologist, psychiatrist, couples therapist, or sex therapist.
Erectile dysfunction support sleeves can also improve sexual activity. When considering taking pills for PE, it's important to consult a doctor first to find the most effective and safe options. People should also avoid pills that companies market to treat PE that make unfounded health claims or that don't have studies and research to support their benefits.