Evolving therapeutic strategies for premature ejaculation: The search for on-demand treatment - topical versus systemic

Can Urol Assoc J. 2012 Oct;6(5):380-5. doi: 10.5489/cuaj.12002.


Premature ejaculation (PE) is a common sexual dysfunction affecting 20% to 30% of men worldwide. Definitions of PE vary, but it is typically characterized by short intravaginal ejaculatory latency time (IELT) with concomitant sexual dissatisfaction and distress. PE may be lifelong or acquired, but its etiology remains unclear. Treatment of PE typically involves pharmacotherapy, particularly when lifelong. Although there are numerous reports on the off-label use of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and other compounds, only 2 treatments have been evaluated in randomized controlled phase 3 clinical trials: PSD502 and dapoxetine (SSRI). Both significantly improved IELT and patient-reported outcome domains of ejaculatory control, sexual satisfaction, and distress as measured by the index of premature ejaculation (IPE), compared with placebo. They constitute the focus of this review. Evidence demonstrated that PSD502, dapoxetine and other SSRIs all significantly improve the symptoms of PE. Systemic use of SSRIs presents risks associated with the known pharmacology of this class. PSD502 allows for topical on-demand treatment applied applied immediately before intercourse, and is not associated with systemic adverse events.