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New Drug Spray May Help Premature Ejaculation

Study Shows Some Improvement for Men Who Use Spray Before Sex
By
WebMD Health News
Reviewed by Laura J. Martin, MD

June 2, 2010 (San Francisco) -- A quick spray of a new drug may help men who suffer from premature ejaculation last nearly six times longer, new research suggests.

The numbers aren't huge. Men who sprayed the head of their penis with PSD502 five minutes before sex lasted an average of just over three minutes after three months of treatment, compared with just over 30 seconds before.

Nonetheless, doctors like Irwin Goldstein, MD, director of San Diego Sexual Medicine at Alvarado Hospital in San Diego, tell WebMD they're excited because this is the first time a drug is being rigorously tested for men with really serious premature ejaculation problems.

Up to 30% of men suffer some degree of premature ejaculation, defined as ejaculation that occurs within one minute of vaginal penetration. It's the No. 1 sexual health problem in men.

Premature ejaculation can be devastating for both a man and his partner, triggering anxiety, depression, and relationship problems, says Goldstein, who heard the results presented at the annual meeting of the American Urological Association.

Not all men with premature ejaculation suffer to the same degree as the men in the study, says researcher Ira Sharlip, MD, clinical professor of urology at the University of California, San Francisco. He consults for Shionogi Pharma Inc., which makes the spray and funded the work.

"Yet I think a substantial number of [men with premature ejaculation] would use it," he tells WebMD, alternatives being unproven products with names like "Stay Erect" and "Play Longer."

At the meeting, Sharlip presented the pooled results of two pivotal studies of PSD502 involving 530 men with premature ejaculation.

A total of 358 of the men gave themselves three quick sprays of PSD502 to the head of the penis five minutes before sex and then wiped it off right before penetration.

PSD502, which contains two common topical painkillers, lidocaine and prilocaine, is "slightly oily, but not objectionably so," Sharlip says.

The rest of the men used a placebo spray. All used the product for three months, for a total of 23,000 doses.

Testing the New Drug

At the start of the study, the average time from penetration to ejaculation was 36 seconds in both groups. By three months later, the average time was 3.3 minutes in the PSD502 group but still less than one minute in the placebo group. It was a 5.5-fold difference, Sharlip says.

A stopwatch held by the man or his partner was used to calculate the times. "Talk about distracting," Goldstein says. "But that's one of the strengths of the study; they got real data, not just men reporting back they think they lasted longer after using the medication," he says.

The men getting PSD502 also reported better ejaculatory control and overall satisfaction with their sexual experience than the placebo recipients.

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