Priligy pills to be available in Singapore from March next year
MEN who experience premature ejaculation during sex may finally get some belated relief. They can soon pop a pill, which will be available here from March next year, which may help with the problem. Priligy, manufactured by Janssen-Cilag, is touted as the world’s first oral medication for premature ejaculation.
The new drug, to be taken one to three hours before sex, is said to triple the time a man can last in bed. The Health Sciences Authority approved the medication last month for men aged 18 to 64 years old. But doctors say the pill is not meant as a cure for the condition.
The pills will probably not come cheap. Prices are not available till next year, but a pack of three 30mg tablets sells for about £76 (S$156) in Britain. Men are advised to take not more than one pill a day, and the medication is available only with a doctor’s prescription. One in five men here has premature ejaculation, and a further 14 per cent probably suffer from it as well, according to an independent survey commissioned by Janssen-Cilag.
The survey polled 243 men aged 18 to 55 in February and March this year. This is comparable to results of another study commissioned by Janssen-Cilag last year in the Asia-Pacific region. About 30 per cent of 5,000 men from 10 countries surveyed suffered from the condition. The medical condition has received little attention, having often been eclipsed by its more prominent cousin, erectile dysfunction, which can be treated with the famous blue pill, Viagra.
“Premature ejaculation is one of the most misunderstood men’s health conditions in Singapore,” said Professor Peter Lim, president of the Society for Men’s Health Singapore. Many men tend to confuse the two conditions. Premature ejaculation is where one ejaculates earlier than desired. On average, a man should be able to sustain sex for three to 4 1/2 minutes, said Prof Lim, who is a senior consultant urologist at Gleneagles Hospital. Some overseas studies found it to be twice as common as erectile dysfunction, where one has trouble getting or keeping an erection.
The drug Priligy works by increasing serotonin levels, a chemical that inhibits ejaculation. This allows men to better control the timing of ejaculations. Clinical trials by Janssen-Cilag show that in men taking the pills – which come in 30mg and 60mg doses – the duration of sex was 2.8 to 3.3 times longer than usual. While the pill may offer some temporary relief, it is not intended as a cure for the condition, said Prof Lim. Some may still require other treatment methods like behavioural therapy, he added. Currently, Priligy is approved in 12 other countries including Germany, Australia and Malaysia for treating premature ejaculation. The drug may, like many medicines, cause common side effects like headaches. But the company said it has not been reported to cause any form of drug dependency.