How does treatment for premature ejaculation work? All treatments focus on the same thing: how to delay ejaculation. There are several treatments available that work well for PE, especially when used in combination. They include psychological approaches, behavioral techniques to control ejaculation during sex, condom use, topical anesthetics applied directly to the penis, and oral medications.
Many men combine 2 or more of these therapies for the best all-around treatment. For the time being, we’ll focus on the 2 most common types of premature ejaculation pills available by prescription, SSRIs and PDE5 inhibitors.
Certain prescription meds that can help delay ejaculation are prescribed off-label as premature ejaculation pills. There are 2 main classes of oral premature ejaculation medicine available by prescription: antidepressants, especially SSRIs, and PDE5 inhibitors. Though these oral meds are currently prescribed as a treatment for premature ejaculation, the FDA hasn’t approved any oral medication specifically for PE. As a result, any premature ejaculation pills you’re prescribed are being used off-label.
Certain antidepressants have the side effect of delaying orgasm. Since the chemical serotonin can help delay ejaculation, antidepressants that increase serotonin levels in your brain may be used to treat PE. This class of antidepressants is called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs).
Sertraline is a common SSRI that may be prescribed off-label as a PE treatment. Research shows that this med often works well, whether it’s used daily or on an as-needed basis. Take this medication as your doctor prescribes it, either each day or as needed before sexual intercourse. When used daily, this med takes 5-10 days to start working, and it will be 2-3 weeks before you see its full effects.
Oral ED drugs are part of a class of medications known as phosphodiesterase-5 (PDE-5) inhibitors. Viagra (sildenafil) is an example of a PDE-5 inhibitor. Again, the FDA has not approved these meds as PE treatments, though they are FDA-approved to treat erectile dysfunction.
In some cases, premature ejaculation is a side effect of erectile dysfunction. When ED is the underlying cause of PE, your doctor will treat the erectile dysfunction first. For many patients, successfully treating ED will also solve the premature ejaculation problem. If you suffer from both sexual conditions, a drug like sildenafil can be a beneficial all-around treatment.
Want to get more information on your options or any of the specific meds we prescribe? We’re here for you. Talk to a Lemonaid doctor or nurse practitioner about your symptoms. When appropriate, our medical team prescribes meds like sildenafil (Viagra) and tadalafil (Cialis).