Premature Ejaculation (PE) is so common that in the US, one out of every three men between the ages of 18 to 59, suffer from it. Premature Ejaculation happens when a man ejaculates sooner than he or his partner would want him to, during sexual intercourse. Most men suffering from PE often end up ejaculating within a minute of sexual intercourse, not only leaving them and their partners feeling highly unsatisfied but also leading to depression, stress and guilt.

One of the chemical compounds which are linked to sexual functioning and premature ejaculation is serotonin. Naturally present in the body, serotonin acts as a chemical messenger (neurotransmitter) that carry signals between brain nerve cells (neurons). Also known as the ‘happy chemical’ it generally contributes to your wellbeing and happiness. Low levels of serotonin in your body may cause depressed mood, low energy levels, negative thoughts, and low libido or reduced sexual desire. Studies have also shown lower levels of serotonin in men with PE.

So among the many treatments for PE, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are considered a popular one. SSRIs are basically a group of antidepressants, such as paroxetine, fluoxetine, escitalopram, and sertraline which are used effectively and widely to treat premature ejaculation in men.

So yes in a way it can be said that men who use antidepressants do last longer in bed. But how do SSRIs work to help prevent premature ejaculation? SSRIs block the reabsorption (reuptake) of serotonin into neurons. This, in turn, makes more serotonin available to improve the transmission of messages between neurons. SSRIs are called selective because of their ability to mainly affect serotonin and not other neurotransmitters.

Among the SSRIs, dapoxetine is used as the first prescription treatment of premature ejaculation and may change the bottleneck situation. It is also generally categorized as a fast-acting SSRI and may be effective at its very first dose if taken 1-3 hours before sexual intercourse. In studies conducted widely, dapoxetine has shown positive results in men suffering from both PE and erectile dysfunction and also has been well tolerated. Also, this particular drug is a notable one,  cause it is the only SSRI with a marketing permit in many countries for the treatment of premature ejaculations.

The other common FDA approved SSRIs are:

  • Escitalopram
  • Fluoxetine
  • Sertraline
  • Paroxetine

Also, an amazing fact is that SSRIs have been prescribed off - label for many many years to successfully treat premature ejaculation. Although many doctors prescribe them to help with patients suffering from PE, some voice their concerns over the side effects as well. The common known possible side effects are,

  • Nausea
  • Fatigue
  • Dry Mouth
  • Insomnia
  • Impact on appetite, leading to weight loss or weight gain

So, are these side effects preventing doctors from prescribing and patients from using these? Well, actually no. Because your doctor before prescribing them will be very well weighing the pros and cons and then only prescribing the same in requisite amounts. Also for men who have been suffering from PE, SSRIs have been nothing less than a miracle, making some last up to ten minutes or more in bed, leaving them highly satisfied!