Purpose: To clarify the efficacy of phosphodiesterase-5 inhibitors (PDE5Is) and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) in men with premature ejaculation (PE).
Methods: We searched the PubMed, Embase, and Cochrane Library databases to identify all randomized, controlled trials (RCTs) and compared the results, including intravaginal ejaculation latency time, satisfaction, intercourse per-week and side effects after treatment with PDE5I or SSRIs versus placebo, combined use of PDE5I with SSRIs versus PDE5I or SSRIs alone, and PDE5I versus SSRIs for treating PE.
Results: The study inclusion criteria were met by 23 studies (ten RCTs with five crossover studies) involving 6145 patients. The data synthesized from these studies indicated that the efficacy of PDE5Is and SSRIs was better than that of placebo (p < 0.00001; p < 0.00001); however, more patients had side effects while taking PDE5Is and SSRIs (p < 0.00001; p < 0.00001). The efficacy of the combined treatment was significantly better than that of PDE5Is or SSRIs alone (p < 0.00001; p < 0.00001); however, more patients had side effects from the combined treatment than from SSRIs (p = 0.0002), with no significant difference in PDE5Is (p = 0.5). The efficacy of PDE5Is was better than that of SSRIs (p = 0.006), and no significant difference was observed in the frequency of side effects (p = 0.93).
Conclusions: PDE5Is were significantly more effective than placebo or SSRIs for treating PE, while SSRIs were better than placebo. The combined treatment had better efficacy than PDE5Is or SSRIs alone.
Keywords: Intra-vaginal ejaculation latency time; Phosphodiesterase-5 inhibitor; Premature ejaculation; Randomized controlled trial; Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors.