A new drug may help men who experience premature ejaculation -- a common source of stress in the bedroom.
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By LAURA OWINGS, ABC NEWS Medical Unit
Sept. 7, 2006 Premature ejaculation is believed to be the most common male sexual dysfunction, affecting about 20 percent of young and middle-aged men. Yet despite these numbers, no drugs have been approved to treat this disorder.
But a new study published in the British medical journal the Lancet shows the drug dapoxetine may offer promise as a treatment for this debilitating condition.
Researchers at the University of Minnesota selected a group of more than 2,600 men who said they experienced severe premature ejaculation. This means that their ability to sustain sex before ejaculating averaged between zero to two minutes.
When these men took dapoxetine one to two hours before sexual activity, they experienced a three- to fourfold increase in performance time. In other words, compared with men who took a placebo and experienced an average of 1.75 minutes of intercourse, men taking 30 milligrams of dapoxetine averaged 2.78 minutes, and those taking a 60 milligram dosage lasted an average of 3.32 minutes.
In addition to lasting longer, the men felt they had more control over ejaculation and said both they and their partners reported more satisfaction.
These small increases are very important, especially for those who suffer from premature ejaculation, said the study's lead author, Dr. Jon Pryor, a professor and chairman of urologic surgery at the University of Minnesota.
"For these guys, that's huge for them," he said. "It's like night and day."
Pryor said that, like erectile dysfunction, premature ejaculation is a sensitive issue for many men with effects that extend beyond the bedroom.
"For people [for whom] this is a serious problem, they'll tell me 'It affects how I carry myself in public.' "
In some cases, relationships can bear the burden and marriages may be at risk.
The new drug's promising results and apparent low risk of side effects have already brought the drug some attention.
Andre Guay, director of the Center for Sexual Function and Endocrinology at the Lahey Clinic in Massachusetts, calls the findings "significant," adding, "any benefit is a plus for self-esteem and is a good beginning point to build on for the future. "