How common is premature ejaculation?

Premature ejaculation (PE) is actually quite common. Up to 30% of men suffer with PE problems at some time in their life. It is usually related to stress and psychological factors rather than a physical problem. There are a variety of ways to help.

How do I know if I have premature ejaculation?

Doctors define premature ejaculation as ejaculation in less than 2 minutes from penetration. However, if you ejaculate with very little stimulation, or before you want, and it is leading to relationship difficulties, you may benefit from treatment.

What treatment is available for premature ejaculation?

Priligy tablets pack photo

There is medication available - Priligy (dapoxetine) - but there are also physical treatments such as extra thick condoms or anaesthetic (numbing) creams and sprays, and condoms pre-coated with numbing gel, which reduce penile sensitivity. These can be bought in many pharmacies without the need for a prescription.

Is there anything else I can try?

As premature ejaculation is often linked to stress and psychological factors, psychological therapies can help. See NHS - Ejaculation problems or the book Coping with Premature Ejaculation: How to Overcome PE, Please Your Partner, and Have Great Sex (2004) by Michael E. Metz.

Is there anyone who can't take Priligy?

There are a few medical conditions where it would be unsafe to take Priligy. Checks are carried out within the Priligy online consultation.

Can I take erectile dysfunction drugs with Priligy?

No. Viagra (sildenafil), Cialis (tadalafil), and other erectile dysfunction drugs should not be used together with Priligy. There is a risk of very low blood pressure. If you suffer from both erectile dysfunction (ED) and premature ejaculation (PE) try treatment for ED first and if you still have PE problems discuss with your regular doctor.

How does Priligy work?

Priligy (dapoxetine) was developed after it was realised that a side effect of taking SSRI antidepressants was to prolong erections. It was specifically designed as a short acting medication rather than an antidepressant but acts in the same way to increase serotonin levels in the brain, which delays ejaculation. It is washed out of the system within around 20 hours (half-life approximately 1.5 hours) and has no antidepressant effect.

How should I take Priligy?

There are two strengths of Priligy tablet: 30mg and 60mg. You should start with the lower 30mg strength, taking the tablet 1-3 hours before anticipated intercourse. Swallow the tablet whole, with a full glass of water. It can be taken with or without food. The strength of tablet can be increased the next time, if necessary and you suffered no significant side effects. You should not take a dose more than once every 24 hours and do not take every day.

Will grapefruit affect Priligy?

It is possible that grapefruit juice will cause the Priligy to stay in your system longer, so you should wait 24 hours after drinking grapefruit juice before taking Priligy. Grapefruit juice is a weak inhibitor of CYP3A4 gut wall metabolism, which can lead to a rise in levels of many drugs in your blood. Further information from NHS: Does grapefruit affect my medicine?

What are the side effects of Priligy?

Men usually get on well with Priligy. The most common side effects are dizziness due to lower blood pressure, nausea, and headache. The full list of side effects is in the patient information leaflet.

How can I reduce the risk of side effects of Priligy?

You are more likely to have side effects if taking alcohol, recreational drugs (such as LSD, heroin, methadone), or sleeping tablets at the same time as Priligy.

What other medications affect Priligy?

There are some interactions with other drugs and some herbal remedies. The online consultation questionnaire checks if your medication is unsuitable to take with Priligy.

Can Priligy be used at any age?

Priligy is only licensed for use by men aged between 18 and 64 years.

I am lactose intolerant - can I take Priligy?

Priligy tablets contain lactose. Patients with rare hereditary problems of galactose intolerance, the Lapp lactase deficiency, or glucose-galactose malabsorption should not take Priligy.

What if Priligy doesn't help?

Most men benefit from Priligy, but psychological therapies and direct physical treatments can be used at the same time and may increase the benefit.

Why is Priligy so expensive?

Priligy was first launched in the UK in 2013 and remains under patent, so only the drug company Menarini can sell the medicine. When the patent expires (expected in February 2024), lower cost generic versions will likely become available.

Can I get Priligy on the NHS?

Priligy is available on prescription in some NHS health authority areas - please check with your local GP surgery. NHS doctors will also usually be able to write private prescriptions for Priligy (charges will apply).

Premature ejaculation treatment
Dr Amanda Wood

Authored 28 July 2020 by Dr A. Wood
MB ChB Manchester University 1984. NHS GP in Bristol. GMC no. 2855422

Reviewed by Dr C. Pugh, Dr B. Babor
Last reviewed 19 June 2023
Last updated 19 January 2024
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