University of Minnesota researchers have shown that the drug dapoxetine is a safe and effective drug treatment for premature ejaculation.
The drug, dapoxetine, is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) that was developed specifically to treat premature ejaculation. SSRIs, normally used to treat depression, have been prescribed "off-label" for treatment of premature ejaculation, but those drugs need to be taken regularly in order to be effective. Dapoxetine, however, is a short-acting drug that has an effect within about one hour.
This multicenter trial took place at 121 sites across the United States. Men in stable, heterosexual relationships took part in the trial, which divided the men into three groups.
One group received a placebo, the second received 30 milligrams of the drug, and the third group received 60 mg of the drug. Both the study participants and medical personnel overseeing the trial were unaware who was assigned to each group. Both groups who received the drug increased their time to ejaculation.
Jon Pryor, M.D., professor and chair of urological surgery, was the primary investigator of this clinical trial. The research will be published in the Sept. 9, 2006, issue of The Lancet.
At the start of the study, the men ejaculated less than one minute after intercourse began. After the 12-week study, the time to ejaculation increased to 1.75 minutes for the placebo group, 2.78 minutes for the group on the lower dose, and 3.32 minutes for the higher dose. The time to ejaculation was measured by the use of a stopwatch by the men's partners.
"Dapoxetine also improved patients' perceptions of control over ejaculation, satisfaction with sexual intercourse, and overall impression of the change in their condition," Pryor said. "The patients' partners also benefited through improved satisfaction with sexual intercourse."
Premature ejaculation is thought to be the most common male sexual dysfunction, effecting between 21 and 33 percent of men. The underlying physical reason for PE is not well understood.
The study was funded by ALZA Corporation, the company that developed the drug dapoxetine. Pryor has served on advisory boards for ALZA advisory boards in the past.
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