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An Overview of Pharmacotherapy in Premature Ejaculation


Hartmut Porst, MD, Private Urology and Andrology Practice and Hospital, Neuer Jungfernstieg 6a, Hamburg 20354, Germany. Tel: 49 40 34 61 84; Fax: 49 40 35 11 17; E-mail:


Introduction.  With increasing interest and clinical research in male sexual disorders, it has become clear that not only psychological but also organic, neurobiological, and genetic factors may play an important role in premature ejaculation (PE).

Aim.  This article provides an overview of the different treatment options both for lifelong (primary, “congenital”) and acquired (secondary) PE.

Methods.  Review of the literature.

Main Outcome Measures.  Currently used treatment options for PE.

Results.  Treatments reviewed include psychological/behavioral/sexual counseling therapy, topical anesthetics, dapoxetine, and other selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), tricyclic antidepressants, and phosphodiesterase-5 (PDE-5) inhibitors.

Conclusions.  Before starting any therapy for PE, correct diagnosis has to be made considering the patient's reported intravaginal ejaculatory latency time (IELT) and the duration and type of PE. Concomitant erectile dysfunction (ED) should be either ruled out or proven by appropriate means. In uncomplicated cases of PE with stable partnerships, medical treatment represents the first-choice option with a high likelihood of success. Dapoxetine, where available, or other SSRIs provide suitable therapeutic options with a good risk/benefit profile for patients. In complicated (“difficult-to-treat”) PE patients, a combination of medication and sexual counseling should be considered the first treatment option. Combination therapies of PDE-5 inhibitors and PE-related medications should be offered to patients suffering from comorbid PE and ED, with ED treatment starting first. In those patients with severe PE—IELTs of <30–60 seconds or anteportal ejaculation—combination therapy of topical and oral medications can be offered and may considerably increase IELT, compared with either monotherapy. Porst H. An overview of pharmacotherapy in premature ejaculation. J Sex Med 2011;8(suppl 4):335–341.