Introduction. It is controversial whether or not the most frequent male sexual dysfunctions, premature ejaculation (PE) and erectile dysfunction (ED), share pathogenetic mechanisms and treatments.
Methods. Three scientists (C.McM., J.C., and A.A.), together with the Controversy's Editor (E.A.J.), with expertise in the area of medical treatment of PE, present different perspectives on the use of phosphodiesterase type 5 inhibitors (PDE5is) in PE. The psychological point of view is discussed by an expert in sexology (M.P.).
Main Outcome Measure. Outcome measures used are expert opinions supported by the critical review of the currently available literature.
Results. This Controversy examines the role of nitric oxide (NO) as a neurotransmitter involved in the central and peripheral control of ejaculation, the adherence of methodology to the contemporary consensus of ideal PE drug trial design, the impact of methodology on treatment outcomes, and the role of PDE5i drugs (sildenafil, tadalafil, and vardenafil) in the treatment of PE.
Conclusions. While it is evident that PDE5is are the first choice in patients with comorbid ED and PE (where one may be secondary to the other), well-designed studies on the possible use of PDE5is in PE patients without ED are still limited. The issue will be less controversial when further evidence on the role of NO and PDE5 in the mechanism of ejaculation is available. Jannini EA, McMahon C, Chen J, Aversa A, and Perelman M. The controversial role of PDE5 inhibitors in the treatment of premature ejaculation. J Sex Med 2011;8:2135–2143.