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Seizure Drug May Help Premature Ejaculation

Case Study: When All Else Failed, Man Got Help From Neurontin
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WebMD Health News

Sept. 20, 2004 -- A drug used to treat seizures and shingles pain may help men with premature ejaculation, a case study shows.

It's estimated that 25% to 40% of men struggle with premature ejaculation. The report by Pierre Chue, MD, of the University of Alberta, Canada, focuses on just one man.

It is, however, an interesting case. Mr. X, Chue notes, is 40 years old and has always had a problem with premature ejaculation. Chue says he tried all kinds of remedies, including:

  • The "stop-pause, stop-squeeze" coital techniques with his partner
  • A condom lined with lidocaine, a sensation-deadening drug
  • SSRI antidepressants, which can have an antiejaculation side effect
  • Antianxiety medications, which made Mr. X sleepy
  • Alcohol

Only the latter treatment -- that is, drinking alcoholic beverages before sex -- seemed to help. "Clearly this was not a feasible regular option," Chue wryly notes in the September issue of the Canadian Journal of Psychiatry.

But the patient's success with booze gave Chue a clue. Alcohol, he reasoned, releases a chemical in the brain called GABA. The antiseizure drug Neurontin also seems to up GABA. So Chue tried giving Mr. X a dose of Neurontin one or two hours before intercourse.

Success! Neurontin worked just as well as alcohol for Mr. X, and with no side effects at the 300-milligram dose. Doubling the dose to 600 milligrams delayed Mr. X's ejaculation even longer, but also made him sleepy.

Neurontin "merits further consideration, particularly in those men for whom other therapies are ineffective or poorly tolerated," Chue suggests.

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