Page last updated at 11:14 GMT, Tuesday, 27 April 2010 12:14 UK

New pill to tackle problem of men falling short in bed

If only I could last a bit longer...
Relationship troubles can often be caused by unhappy sex lives

Men whose love lives are falling short can try a new prescription pill to combat the problem.

The first drug made available in the UK for premature ejaculation, called Priligy, can reportedly triple the amount of time a man can last in bed.

It works by altering levels of serotonin in the brain, which should give men more control over ejaculation.

The pill is only available on the internet following a confidential online consultation with a doctor.

Priligy has been available and licensed for use in several European countries in recent months and is now coming to the UK following clinical tests on 6,000 men.

The treatment is sold in packs of three and costs £76 for a pack of three 30mg tablets.

It's designed to be taken between one and three hours before sex.

'Too embarrassed'

Premature ejaculation is thought to be the most common sexual disorder in men, affecting one in three men at some point in their lives.

Research has shown that sufferers avoid relationships and have a lower overall quality of life than men without the problem.

A recent European survey found that British, along with German, men are the most unhappy with their sex lives because of the problem.

Many men are also too embarrassed to discuss it with a loved one or even a doctor.

"By providing consultations online we hope to be able to help as many men as possible," said Nitin Makadia, head of male sexual health at Lloydspharmacy, which is running the service.

"Some men are understandably reluctant to discuss the problem with their GP so we are removing this barrier to treatment."

Doctors who are experts in sexual health assess patients' suitability for treatment through an online consultation. If appropriate, they make Priligy available for the patient to purchase.

The treatment is then sent securely through the post.

Priligy is not currently licensed in the UK, but clinicians can legally prescribe any 'unlicensed' medicine to patients if they consider it to be in the patient's best interest.

All doctors prescribing 'unlicensed' medicines are responsible for the patient's care and the consequences of the treatment.

Peter Baker, head of Men's Health Forum, said drugs should not be the first option for someone suffering from premature ejaculation.

"It's fantastic that this drug now exists and particularly if it gives men the confidence to acknowledge they have a problem. But we can't treat every problem with a drug, and there are a number of techniques men can try which can be effective."



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SEE ALSO
Sex drive 'lasts longer in men'
10 Mar 10 |  Health
'Female Viagra' discovery claim
17 Nov 09 |  Health
GPs' sexual health care 'patchy'
28 Jul 08 |  Health
Sexual health treatment 'in days'
17 Jul 07 |  Scotland

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