Antidepressants and ejaculation: a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled, fixed-dose study with paroxetine, sertraline, and nefazodone

J Clin Psychopharmacol. 2001 Jun;21(3):293-7. doi: 10.1097/00004714-200106000-00007.


Antidepressant medication is often associated with sexual side effects. A double-blind, placebo-controlled study in men with lifelong rapid ejaculation was performed to assess the effects of two selective serotonin (5-HT) reuptake inhibitors--paroxetine and sertraline--and the 5-HT2 antagonist and 5-HT/noradrenaline reuptake inhibitor nefazodone on the latency to ejaculate. Forty-eight men with an intravaginal ejaculation latency time (IELT) of a maximum of 1 minute were randomly assigned to receive paroxetine (20 mg/day), sertraline (50 mg/day), nefazodone (400 mg/day), or placebo for 6 weeks. During the 1-month baseline and 6-week treatment period, IELTs were measured at home with a stopwatch. The trial was completed by 40 men. During the 6-week treatment period, the geometric mean IELT in the placebo group was stable at approximately 20 seconds. Analysis of variance revealed a between-group difference in the evolution of IELT delay over time (p = 0.002); the IELT after paroxetine and sertraline gradually increased to approximately 146 and 58 seconds, respectively, compared with 28 seconds in the nefazodone group. The paroxetine and sertraline groups differed significantly (p < 0.001 and p = 0.024, respectively) from placebo, but the nefazodone group did not (p = 0.85). Compared with baseline, paroxetine exerted the strongest delay in ejaculation, whereas sertraline delayed it only moderately. There was no clinically relevant delay in ejaculation with nefazodone.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Antidepressive Agents / pharmacology*
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Ejaculation / drug effects*
  • Ejaculation / physiology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Paroxetine / pharmacology*
  • Piperazines
  • Placebos
  • Receptors, Serotonin / physiology
  • Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors / pharmacology
  • Sertraline / pharmacology*
  • Triazoles / pharmacology*


  • Antidepressive Agents
  • Piperazines
  • Placebos
  • Receptors, Serotonin
  • Serotonin Uptake Inhibitors
  • Triazoles
  • Paroxetine
  • nefazodone
  • Sertraline