Let’s begin with a quick look at the reviews on a leading UK retailer site:
From 3 to 30 minutes? It lasted for hours and reversed the problem? This is beautiful music to the ears of millions of men.
But how does Priligy really work? How long does it last? What about the long-term effects? Before we all place our orders, let’s take a clear, non-biased view. Any medication has its pros and cons, and premature ejaculation is a delicate issue.
Tablets for premature ejaculation: a brief history
We begin with clomipramine, which has been around for decades. It is typically prescribed for treatment of OCD, depression and chronic pain. It’s also used by vets to treat dogs and cats for excessive self-licking and urine spraying. Its effect on the duration of sexual intercourse was soon noticed (“I say, Rover’s coat is so much thicker and he’s humping his blanket for well over fifteen minutes.”).
Human users reported a sixfold time increase when taking clomipramine daily, and fourfold when taken on-demand (several hours before sex). These are some impressive stats. The adverse effects are less impressive, including sickness, diarrhoea and erection problems. The benefits only last as long as the medication is taken.
In the late 1980s, SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors) came along and have dominated the antidepressant market ever since. They are the go-to prescription for depression, panic disorder, social anxiety, OCD, generalized anxiety and PTSD.
When it comes to sexual function in men, the theory is that they balance out levels of dopamine and serotonin, both brain chemicals that regulate the ejaculation function. Research has suggested that serotonin levels might be lower in men who struggle with premature ejaculation. Common SSRI variants are citalopram, paroxetine and fluoxetine (better known as Prozac).
Depending on dosage and brand, the effects on intercourse duration range from double to a whopping sevenfold increase (paroxetine). These outcomes require several weeks of daily use, as popping a pill on demand has little effect. Men who already last longer see the best results. Seconds-rather-than-minutes dudes might last for 1.5 minutes on average. This is still a significant improvement to their sex lives.
Common side-effects include dizziness, sleep disturbance, dry mouth and rashes. I’ve spoken to guys who experienced confused thoughts, restlessness and subtle changes in personality. In some cases, their family would notice them driving faster or acting differently around people. Withdrawal from the drug should be measured or there are further risks of side-effects.
SSRIs are not officially issued for premature ejaculation, so it is at the doctor’s discretion whether to prescribe them off-label. When discussing this with a G.P. friend, he explained that he had prescribed SSRIs for “severely affected men” but would recommend they experiment to find a top-up dosage that still has the desired effect (i.e. every two or three days).
A breakthrough: does Priligy work?
In recent years, another SSRI variant called dapoxetine has joined the party. It’s often branded Priligy, Sustinex or Westoxetin (which totally sells it, I know). Originally developed as an antidepressant, it was found to distribute too rapidly in the body. But for someone looking to whack up their serotonin on-demand, give their beloved the orgasmic ride of her life and then go straight back to normal, it’s a dream come true.
Dapoxetine can be taken an hour or two before sex, just like Viagra. There’s simply no need for a daily dosage. There remains a risk of side-effects, including headaches, nausea, insomnia, diarrhoea and let us not forget, rashes. Priligy can, in some cases, cause a reduction in blood pressure with dizziness and even blackouts. The rapid absorption and excretion of the drug means less likelihood of withdrawal symptoms, however.
So does dapoxetine really work? In a major 2009 study, men with premature ejaculation lasted up to three or four times longer than men who were given a placebo (although interestingly, the placebo group recorded some mild improvement too). Average banging times went from just over a minute to four minutes.
In the UK, the General Medical Council has given the thumbs up and local NHS authorities are able to issue dapoxetine under its Priligy label. It’s also available from those convenient online pharmacies who will give you a prescription subject to their ‘online consultation’ (tick five boxes). The going rate is around £7.00 per 30mg tablet, which is roughly £1.75 per prolonged minute. And if she changes her mind after you’ve popped a dapoxetine, you won’t feel too financially cheated.
Viagra and Priligy at the same time?
Now here’s a thing. Priligy doesn’t increase blood-flow to the penis, it just delays the onset of ejaculation. So if you struggle with ED, you potentially have more time to go soft. Also, some users of dapoxetine have reported a slightly softer erection.
Consider the man who has trouble maintaining an erection, so he pumps away to keep himself stimulated. He can’t risk pausing or slowing things down, and it all gets too much for him and he comes too soon. For more discussion of this habit, see my article about trying to emulate porn sex.
Or consider the man with lifelong hangups about his premature ejaculation, to the extent that he’s too anxious to get fully hard. The challenges of sexual performance can be cruel sometimes, especially when middle-age creeps up on us.
So we might find ourselves taking Viagra and SSRI medication on the same night. To me, that’s a considerable double-shot of medication. It’s like washing down your bedtime Kalms with a Relentless energy drink. I get it – the alternative might feel like giving up on sex altogether – but there are other ways to increase our performance times, even if they require a little more dedication. For men that depend on Viagra to maintain an erection, supplementing it with sexual excitement management techniques is probably a healthier way to go.
This brings me to a hybrid medication called Super P-Force, which consists of sildenafil (Viagra) and dapoxetine in one pill. It’s manufactured by Indian lab Sunrise Remedies, along with hair oil and bust firming cream, and is available from offshore online pharmacies. I’ve yet to meet anyone who has tried Super P-Force, but both the concept and the name ‘Super P-Force’ makes me nervous. If you’ve taken the plunge, please let me know.
How long does Priligy last?
While taking a daily prescription of SSRI medication, men can enjoy the benefit of lasting longer whenever they have sex. But the convenience of taking Priligy on-demand has a trade-off: the effect will only last for up to 4 hours.
For most men, this isn’t a major problem. Viagra works similarly, after all. But what can we expect on occasions of spontaneous sex when we don’t take a pill in advance, or if we decide to stop taking this medication for any other reason?
This is my biggest concern about treating premature ejaculation with dapoxetine. Some men report a nasty consequence: they come much faster again, sometimes faster than they did before starting the medication. Ouch.
We know that SSRIs are only effective when they are being taken, but what might explain this phenomenon? It may be a physiological reaction, or a loss of confidence. Perhaps the security and convenience of popping a pill makes us lazy and less sensitive to our own bodies; when we return to non-enhanced performance, we’re back to square one. Maybe it’s the anxiety-reducing effect of the SSRI being withdrawn.
Either way, this is definitely something to consider before taking Priligy. Some men who have medicated their premature ejaculation issues for longer periods report the effectiveness wearing off, leading them to take higher doses.
Doctors aren’t exactly sure what SSRI pills are doing to us in the long-term. But with an estimated 9% of the UK population necking them down, antidepressant pills are generally regarded as safe.
An interesting 2017 study revealed that high numbers of men do stop taking dapoxetine. The main reasons for discontinuation were cost and disappointment that treatment was required every time “adequate sexual function was required”. I might speculate that many of these men experienced the ‘back to square one’ effect mentioned above.
Feeling tempted to try Priligy? We’ve covered some of the known side-effects, and your GP would be able to provide further information and explain any potential incompatibilities with other medications. We all react differently to this stuff, and you may find that you don’t experience any detrimental effects or can handle the sensation of ‘thinking differently’ described above. It’s a matter of finding the right balance by experimenting with different dosages.
It’s worth noting that antidepressant pills are not guaranteed to increase the duration of sexual intercourse. Some men report taking it for several months with no perceptible improvement. That’s a lot of exposure to brain altering medication for nothing in return. At the very least, this may provide some clues about the root causes of their premature ejaculation (self-perception, incorrect physical movement) that no chemical fix can address.
The takeaway: SSRIs are useful, but don’t get hooked
For men who struggle with premature ejaculation, SSRI medication can make a difference. If you are experiencing anxiety or even depression as a result of this issue, and you certainly wouldn’t be alone, an SSRI can help address this too. Talking to your doctor about a test prescription would be a pragmatic first step.
Just remember that no medication will ‘cure’ premature ejaculation. I’d call it a convenient hack. There are more effective ways to tackle the problem in the longer-term. This is essentially what the Bang On Time project is all about.
Ideally, we would briefly use Priligy to get our confidence back and experience longer lasting sex. It can alleviate our anxieties and buy us some breathing space, especially if premature ejaculation is causing immediate problems in our relationships. It presents an opportunity to work on our sexual capability and relaxation skills.
By taking this approach, we should be able to phase out medication and get the same results naturally. This is vastly preferable to a long-term (or potentially lifelong) dependency on these mysterious little pills.