Premature Ejaculation? Try an Anti-Depressant.

It is not uncommon for men to feel embarrased about their stamina in the sack. The question, “How short is too short?” lacks an objective answer, but it is generally agreed that an intravaginal ejaculation latency time (IELT; a great acronym, though not the greatest) of less than 2 minutes leaves something to be desired. Unfortunately, Alfred Kinsey’s research in the 1950s showed that most men fail to meet this relatively generous benchmark.

Over the years, numerous therapies have been devleoped for premature ejaculation (PE).  Some of these involve behavioral modification, such as the traditional Stop Start Technique. Others involve a local anesthetic like Benzocaine, though condoms containing this compound receive mixed reviews.

Though the ejaculatory reflex is mediated by neurons in the spinal cord, it is also amenable to cognitive control by brain regions such as the nucleus paragigantocellularis. A new generation of psychoactive PE medications is inspired by anti-depressants that inhibit reuptake of serotonin (SSRIs). Inibiting reuptake increases the concentration of serotonin at the synapse, which is thought to be critical for ejaculatory control. 

Unlike anti-depressants, it is desireable for PE medications to be fast-acting and have a short half life. Science Daily reports on a clinical trial of dapoxetine, an SSRI with these properties. Giuliano et al. show that dapoxetine, taken only a couple hours prior to intercourse, increases mean IELT by several minutes. It’s no miracle cure, but it helps.

On the other hand, some people are proud of their..ehem..efficiency. Dave Chapelle appears to be one of them (note: adult language).


One response to “Premature Ejaculation? Try an Anti-Depressant.

  1. Pingback: Make Love, Not War « Brain In A Vat

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