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New premature ejaculation pill on sale

Priligy is not licensed in the UK yet – but is being sold after online consultations
WebMD UK Health News
Medically Reviewed by Dr Paola Accalai
sad african american man

27th April 2010 - A new tablet to treat premature medication has gone on sale in the UK - even though it is not licensed here yet. Dapoxetine - sold under the brand name Priligy - is available in other European countries, including Germany and Sweden, but the manufacturer hasn’t applied for UK approval yet.

About PE

The NHS says premature ejaculation (PE) is the most common type of ejaculation problem. Ejaculation problems in general are common, affecting an estimated 20-30% of men in England at least once during their lifetime.

About Priligy/Dapoxetine

Dapoxetine is the first oral medicine developed specifically to treat men with PE. It is a short-acting selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor or SSRI, similar to depression medications.

The tablets tell the brain to increase the level of the hormone that controls ejaculation, without reducing sensitivity in the penis. It is a short term medication lasting some hours rather than a cure, and taken some hours before sex.

Lloyds pharmacies which is selling the medication says research shows it works for up to seven out of 10 men who suffer from premature ejaculation, delaying ejaculation by up to three times.

According to a 2006 study published in The Lancet, when taken one to three hours before sex, the drug increased the time from penetration to ejaculation from 1.75 minutes to 2.78 minutes for men treated with 30 milligrams of the drug. Men who got 60 milligrams lasted 3.32 minutes.

At the time, the lead author of the study, Dr Jon Pryor, said "A couple of minutes may not sound like much, but for these guys it was huge".

As the medication is not available on the NHS, anyone buying it would pay the full cost, and it isn’t cheap. Three 30mg tablets cost £76.

Unlicensed prescribing

Although Priligy is not licensed in the UK, the medicines regulator, the MHRA, tells us doctors can still prescribe unlicensed medicines to meet the needs of individual patients, on their own responsibility.

They prescribe it, based on their own and their colleagues’ experience, published studies and findings presented at professional meetings. This is called ‘off label’ prescribing.

In the case of Priligy, no face-to- face appointment with a doctor is made. Instead, patients sign up for an online consultation. Depending on the responses given, a private prescription will be issued which can then be bought online.

You can find out more about men’s sex problems here.

Reviewed on April 27, 2010

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