Background: Premature ejaculation (PE) is a major issue in male sexual health, with a global prevalence estimated to be between 20% and 40%, making it the most common sexual dysfunction in men. PE causes distress and reduced quality of life for patients and has a negative impact on interpersonal relationships. Historically, it has been treated with cognitive therapy, behavioural methods and off-label use of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) usually used to treat depression and other psychological disorders. Dapoxetine is the only SSRI specifically designed to treat PE. Mechanism of action: Dapoxetine hydrochloride is a potent inhibitor of serotonin reuptake transporters. Dapoxetine is suited for 'on-demand' treatment of PE because of its rapid absorption and short initial half-life. Efficacy: Evidence from published studies showed that dapoxetine 30 mg or 60 mg taken 'on-demand' results in a significant increase in intravaginal ejaculatory latency time (IELT) when compared with placebo. Most patient-reported outcomes are clearly improved relative to placebo following dapoxetine therapy, indicating greater control over ejaculation, more satisfaction with intercourse, less ejaculation-related distress and significantly reduced interpersonal difficulties. Safety: The most common adverse events with dapoxetine are nausea, dizziness, somnolence, headache, diarrhoea and insomnia. Usually they do not lead to drug discontinuation. Conclusion: Dapoxetine is the only effective and safe available on-label oral treatment for PE, and its use can result in better quality of life for the patient and their sexual partner.
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