PE is treatable with a licensed medication. Can efficacy of drug treatment be enhanced? A recent study confirms enhanced efficacy for the combination of drug treatment and sex therapy
Premature ejaculation (PE) is one of the most common male sexual disorders. It involves both bodily and psychological disturbances. At present, in the world* there is only one oral treatment licensed for PE and it is available in 48 Countries. In recent years, drug treatment has increasingly been successfully used in combination with sex therapy in clinical practice.
The combination of drug treatment and sex therapy has been investigated in a number of scientific studies which have found it to be superior to pharmacotherapy alone. Among these, there is a recent study conducted by a group of researchers from the Universities of Foggia and Naples (Italy) that investigated this treatment combination to see if it could do a better job than just pills alone in the management of patients with lifelong PE, i.e. people who have always experienced PE since becoming sexually active.
This study involved 50 patients (mean age 34 years) with lifelong PE. 25 patients (group A) were given on-demand pharmacological treatment alone and the other 25 patients (group B) received on-demand drug treatment in combination with sex therapy for 24 weeks.
Three main outcomes were measured in both groups: intravaginal ejaculatory latency time (IELT) i.e. the time between the start of vaginal intercourse and the start of intravaginal ejaculation; PEDT score (PEDT or premature ejaculation diagnostic tool is a questionnaire to help identify men who may have a problem with ejaculating too soon); and treatment-emergent adverse events (TEAEs) i.e. any event which was absent prior to the initiation of treatment or which worsened in either intensity or frequency following exposure to treatment.
Both groups were evaluated at 4, 12 and 24 weeks. It was found that both groups had a significant increase in mean IELT and decrease in mean PEDT, but patients in group A showed a lower increase in mean IELT and a lower decrease in the mean PEDT score. At 24 weeks these differences were even more evident: 80% of patients in group B reached a PEDT score ≤ 8 (which means absence of PE), whereas this result couldn’t be attained by any patient in group A.
The authors concluded that the combination of drug treatment and sex therapy is more effective than drug treatment alone in patients with lifelong PE. Most of the patients receiving both drug treatment and sex therapy in this study attained normal ejaculatory function.
* other than in Korea, where there are other oral medications licensed for PE.
Reference: Cormio L. et al., J. Sex Med 2015.