DYsFUNCTION: Erectile Dysfunction
and Premature Ejaculation
E. Wespes, E. Amar, I. Eardley, F. Giuliano, D. Hatzichristou, K. Hatzimouratidis, F. Montorsi, Y. Vardi Eur Urol 2002;41(1):1-5.
Eur Urol 2006;49(5):806-15
Definition, Epidemiology and Risk factors
Erectile dysfunction (ED) is the persistent inability to attain
and maintain an erection sufficient to permit satisfactory sex-
ual performance. Although ED is a benign disorder, it affects
physical and psychosocial health and has a significant impact
on the quality of life (QoL) of sufferers and their partners and
families. A recent review of epidemiological studies of ED
suggests that approximately 5-20% of men have moderate to
severe ED. The difference in reported incidences is probably
due to differences in methodology and in the ages and socio-
economic status of the study populations.
Erectile dysfunction shares common risk factors with cardio-vascular disease including lack of exercise, obesity, smoking, hypercholesterolaemia and the metabolic syndrome. The risk of ED may be reduced by modifying these risk factors, 92 Erectile Dysfunction
particularly taking exercise or losing weight. Another risk fac-tor for ED is radical prostatectomy (RP) in any form (open, laparoscopic, or robotic) because of the risk of cavernosal nerve injury, poor oxygenation of the corpora cavernosa, and vascular insufficiency. About 25-75% of men undergoing RP experience post-operative ED. Patients being considered for nerve-sparing radical prostatectomy (NSRP) should ideally be potent and the cavernosal nerves must be preserved to ensure erectile function recovery after RP. Diagnosis and work-up
Basic work-up
The basic work-up (minimal diagnostic evaluation) outlined
in Figure 1 must be performed in every patient with ED.
Due to the potential cardiac risks associated with sexual activi-ty, the 2nd Princeton Consensus Conference stratified patients with erectile ED wanting to initiate, or resume, sexual activity into three risk categories (Fig. 2). The low-risk group included asymptomatic patients with less than three risk factors for coronary artery disease (excluding male gender), mild or stable angina (evaluated and/or being treated), uncomplicated past myocardial infarction, left ventricular dysfunction or con-gestive heart failure (NYHA class I), post-successful coronary revascularisation, controlled hypertension and mild valvular disease. All other patients were included in an intermediate- or high-risk category and required a cardiology consultation. specific examinations and tests
Although most patients with ED can be managed within the
Erectile Dysfunction 93
sexual care setting, some circumstances require specific diag-nostic testing:• Patients with primary erectile disorder (not caused by • Young patients with a history of pelvic or perineal trauma who could benefit from potentially curative vascu-lar surgery • Patients with penile deformities (e.g. Peyronie’s disease, congenital curvature) that might require surgical correction • Patients with complex psychiatric or psychosexual • Patients with complex endocrine disorders• Specific tests may also be indicated at the request • For medico-legal reasons (e.g. penile prosthesis implant, Specific diagnostic tests include:• nocturnal penile tumescence and rigidity (NTPR) using • vascular studies - intracavernous vasoactive drug injection - duplex ultrasound of the cavernous arteries - dynamic infusion cavernosometry/cavernosography - internal pudendal arteriography • neurological studies (e.g. bulbocavernosus reflex latency, • endocrinological studies • specialised psychodiagnostic evaluation.
94 Erectile Dysfunction
The NPTR should take place for at least two nights. A func-tional erectile mechanism is indicated by an erectile event of at least 60% rigidity recorded on the tip of the penis, lasting for 10 min or longer. The intracavernous injection test provides limited information about vascular status. However, Duplex ultrasound provides a simple way of assessing vascular status. Further vascular investigation is unnecessary if Duplex ultrasound is normal, as indicated by a peak systolic blood flow > 30 cm/s and a resist-ance index > 0.8. If ultrasound is abnormal, however, arteriog-raphy and DICC should be performed only in patients who are potential candidates for vascular reconstructive surgery. Recommendations for the Diagnostic Work-up
• Clinical use of a validated questionnaire 3 related to ED may help assess all sexual function domains and the effect of a specific treatment modality • Physical examination is needed in the initial assessment of ED to identify underlying medical conditions associated with ED glucose-lipid profile and total testosterone, are required to identify and treat any reversible risk factors and modifiable lifestyle factors Erectile Dysfunction 95
• Specific diagnostic tests are indicated LE = level of evidence; GR = grade of recommendation; ED = erectile dysfunction. 96 Erectile Dysfunction
Figure 1. Minimal diagnostic evaluation (basic work-up) in

patients with erectile dysfunction.
Patient with erectile dysfunction (self-reported) (use of validated instruments, e.g. IIEF) Erectile Dysfunction 97
Figure 2. Treatment algorithm according to cardiac risk

(2nd Princeton Consensus Conference)
Risk factors and coronary heart disease evaluation, treatment and follow-up for all patients with 98 Erectile Dysfunction
Treatment of ED
Only certain types of ED have the potential to be cured with
specific treatments:
• Psychogenic ED: psychosexual therapy may be given either
alone or with another therapeutic approach, but takes time and has had variable results • Post-traumatic arteriogenic ED in young patients: surgical penile revascularisation has a 60-70% long-term success rate • Hormonal causes of ED: testosterone replacement therapy is effective, but should only be used after other endocrino-logical causes for testicular failure have been excluded. Currently, it is contraindicated in men with a history of prostate carcinoma or with symptoms of prostatism. Close follow-up is necessary, including digital rectal examination (DRE), serum prostate serum antigen (PSA) and haemat-ocrit assessment, as well as monitoring the development of hepatic or prostatic disease. The use of pro-erectile drugs following RP is very important in achieving erectile function following surgery. Several tri-als have shown higher rates of recovery of post-RP erectile function in patients receiving any phosphodiesterase type 5 (PDE5) inhibitor or intracavernosal injections (therapeutic or prophylactic). Rehabilitation should start as soon as possible following RP. Most men with ED will be treated with treatment options that are not cause-specific. This approach requires a structured treatment strategy that depends on efficacy, safety, invasive-ness and cost as well as patient and partner satisfaction. The Erectile Dysfunction 99
choice of treatment options must consider the effects on patient and partner satisfaction and other QoL factors, as well as efficacy and safety. A treatment algorithm for ED is given in Figure 3.
First-line Therapy
Oral pharmacotherapy
Three potent selective PDE5 inhibitors have been approved
by the European Medicines Agency (EMEA) for the treatment
of ED. They are not initiators of erection and require sexual
stimulation for an erection to occur. Efficacy is defined as
rigidity sufficient for vaginal penetration.
Sildenafil (Viagra™)Sildenafil, launched in 1998, was the first PDE5 inhibitor available. It is effective after 30-60 min from administration. A heavy fatty meal may reduce or prolong absorption. It is administered in 25, 50 and 100 mg doses. The recommended starting dose is 50 mg and adapted according to patient response and side-effects. Efficacy may last for up to 12 h. In pre-marketing studies, after 24 weeks of treatment in a dose-response study, improved erections were reported by 56%, 77% and 84% of men taking 25, 50 and 100 mg of silde-nafil, respectively, compared with 25% of men taking placebo. The efficacy of sildenafil in almost every subgroup of patients with ED has been well established.
Tadalafil (Cialis™)Tadalafil was licensed for ED in 2003. It is effective from 30 min after administration but its peak efficacy occurs after 100 Erectile Dysfunction
about 2 h. Efficacy is maintained for up to 36 h. Its efficacy is not affected by food. It is administered in 10 and 20 mg doses. The recommended starting dose is 10 mg and is adapted according to patient response and side-effects. In pre-marketing, dose-response studies, improved erections were reported after 12 weeks of treatment by 67% and 81% of men taking 10 mg and 20 mg of tadalafil, respectively, compared to 35% of men taking placebo. The results were confirmed in post-marketing studies. Tadalafil also improved erections in difficult-to-treat subgroups.
Vardenafil (Levitra™)Vardenafil was licensed for ED in 2003. It is effective after 30 min from administration. A fatty meal > 57% in fat reduces its effect. It is administered in 5, 10 and 20 mg doses. The recom-mended starting dose is 10 mg and adapted according to the response and side-effects. In vitro, it is 10-fold more potent than sildenafil. However, this does not necessarily mean greater clinical efficacy. In pre-marketing, dose-response studies, improved erections after 12 weeks of treatment were reported by 66%, 76% and 80% of men taking 5 mg, 10 mg and 20 mg of vardenafil, respectively, compared to 30% of men taking placebo. Efficacy was confirmed in post-marketing studies. Vardenafil also improved erections in difficult-to-treat subgroups.
Choice of, or preference for, different PDE5 inhibitors The choice of a PDE5 inhibitor depends on the frequency of intercourse (occasional use or regular therapy, 3-4 times Erectile Dysfunction 101
weekly) and the patient’s personal experience of the agent. Patients need to know whether a drug is short- or long-acting, possible disadvantages and how to use it. On-demand, or chronic use, of PDE5 inhibitorsAlthough PDE5 inhibitors were introduced as on-demand treatment, in 2008, tadalafil was also approved for continu-ous, everyday use in 2.5 and 5 mg doses. Two studies assess-ing daily use of 5 and 10 mg tadalafil for 12 weeks and daily use of 2.5 and 5 mg tadalafil for 24 weeks, showed that daily dosing was well tolerated and significantly improved erectile function. Similar results have been found in diabetic patients. However, these studies lacked an on-demand treatment arm. Daily tadalafil provides an alternative to on-demand dosing for couples that prefer spontaneous rather than scheduled sexual activity or who have frequent sexual activity. Daily dosing overcomes the requirement for dosing and sexual activity to be temporally linked. Other studies have shown that chronic, but not on-demand, tadalafil treatment improved endothelial function with sus-tained effect after its discontinuation. This was confirmed in another study of chronic sildenafil in men with type 2 diabe-tes. In contrast, another RCT found that once-daily dosing of vardenafil, 10 mg/day, did not offer any sustainable effect after cessation of treatment compared to on-demand vardenafil in patients with mild-to-moderate ED. Adverse eventsCommon adverse events include headache, flushing, dizzi-ness, dyspepsia and nasal congestion. Sildenafil and vardenafil 102 Erectile Dysfunction
have been associated with visual abnormalities in less than 2% of patients, while tadalafil has been associated with back pain/myalgia in 6% of patients. However, adverse events are gener-ally mild in nature, self-limited by continuous use and the dropout rate due to adverse events is similar to placebo.
Cardiovascular safetyClinical trials and post-marketing data of all PDE5 inhibitors have demonstrated no increase in myocardial infarction rates. No PDE5 inhibitor has adversely affected total exercise time or time to ischaemia during exercise testing in men with stable angina. In fact, they may improve exercise tests. Nitrates are totally contraindicated with all PDE5 inhibitors due to unpredictable hypotension. The duration of interaction between organic nitrates and PDE5 inhibitors varies according to the PDE5 inhibitor and nitrate. If a patient develops angina while using a PDE5 inhibitor, other anti-angina agents may be used instead of nitroglycerine or until after the appropriate time has passed (24 h for sildenafil or vardenafil and 48 h for tadalafil). In general, the adverse event profile of the PDE5 inhibitor is not worsened, even when the patient is on multiple antihy-pertensive agents.
Alpha-blocker interactionsAll PDE5 inhibitors appear to interact with alpha-blockers, which under some conditions may result in orthostatic hypo-tension. The labelling for sildenafil currently includes a pre-caution advising that 50 or 100 mg (not 25 mg) of sildenafil Erectile Dysfunction 103
should not be taken within 4 h of taking an alpha-blocker. The use of vardenafil with an alpha-blocker is not recommended. However, co-administration of vardenafil with tamsulosin is not associated with clinically significant hypotension. Tadalafil is contraindicated in patients taking alpha-blockers, except for tamsulosin. Dosage adjustmentsLower doses of PDE5 inhibitors may be required in patients taking ketoconazole, itraconazole, erythromycin, clarithromy-cin and HIV protease inhibitors (ritonavir, saquinavir). Higher doses of PDE5 inhibitors may be necessary in patients tak-ing rifampicin, phenobarbital, phenytoin or carbamazepine. Kidney or hepatic dysfunction may require dose adjustments. In patients with hypogonadism, androgen supplementation improves erectile response.
Management of non-responders to PDE5 inhibitorsThe two main reasons why patients fail to respond to a PDE5 inhibitor are either incorrect drug use or inefficacy of the drug. Physicians should check that the patient is using a licensed medication and that the medication has been properly pre-scribed and correctly used (adequate sexual stimulation and dosage and enough time between taking the medication and attempt at intercourse). Provided a patient is using a PDE5 inhibitor appropriately, there are several ways of improving efficacy. They include modification of associated risk factors, treatment of associated hypogonadism, changing to another PDE5 inhibitor, or con-tinuous use of a PDE5 inhibitor. There is limited evidence to 104 Erectile Dysfunction
Vacuum constriction devices
A vacuum constriction device (VCD) applies a negative pres-
sure to the penis to draw venous blood into the penis, which
is then retained by application of a visible constricting band at
the base of the penis. This method is more acceptable to older
patients. Efficacy, defined by an erection satisfactory for inter-
course, is as high as 90%. Satisfaction rates range between 27%
and 94%. Long-term use of VCDs decreases to 50-64% after 2
years. Most men who discontinue use of VCDs do so within 3
months. The adverse effects associated with vacuum therapy
are penile pain, numbness and delayed ejaculation and occur
in less than 30% of patients.
second-line Therapy
Patients not responding to oral drugs may be offered intracav-
ernous injections. Alprostadil (Caverject®, Edex/Viridal®) is
the only drug approved for intracavernous treatment of ED. It
is the most efficacious monotherapy for intracavernous treat-
ment using 5-40 μg doses. Erection appears after 5-15 min
and lasts according to the dose injected. The patient should be
enrolled in an office-based training programme (one or two
visits) to learn the correct injection process.
Efficacy rates are about 70% with reported sexual activity after 94% of injections and satisfaction rates of 87-93.5% in patients and 86-90.3% in partners. Dropout rates of 41-68% have been described, with most dropouts occurring within the first 2-3 months. Complications of intracavernous alprostadil include penile pain (50% of patients after 11% of injections), pro- Erectile Dysfunction 105
longed erections (5%), priapism (1%) and fibrosis (2%). Drug combinations (mainly the three-drug combination of alpros-tadil + papaverine + phentolamine) may increase efficacy by up to 90%. Fibrosis was found to be more common (5-10%) if papaverine was used (depending on total dose).
After 4 h of erection, patients are advised to consult their doctor to avoid any damage to the intracavernous muscle, as this will result in permanent impotence. A 19-gauge needle is used to aspirate blood and decrease the intracavernous pres-sure. This simple technique is usually sufficient to make the penis flaccid. However, if the penis then becomes rigid again, phenylephrine should be injected into the intracavernous muscle, starting at 200 μg every 5 min and increasing to 500 μg if necessary. If this problem occurs, the dosage of the next intracavernosal injection is usually reduced.
Prostaglandin E1 may be administered intraurethrally as a semi-solid pellet (125-1000 μg). A band placed at the base of the penis improves the resulting rigidity. The clinical success rate is lower than with intracavernosal injections, but about 70% of patients are satisfied or very satisfied with treatment. Side-effects include local pain (29-41%), dizziness (1.9-14%) and urethral bleeding (5%).
Third-line Therapy (Penile Prostheses)
Surgical implantation of a penile prosthesis may be considered
in patients who fail pharmacotherapy or who want a perma-
nent solution. Prostheses are either malleable (semi-rigid) or
inflatable (two- or three-piece). Most patients prefer the three-
piece inflatable devices because erections are more ‘natural’,
106 Erectile Dysfunction
but these implants are much more expensive. Satisfaction rates of 70-87% are reported from patients after appropriate consultation. The two main complications of penile prosthesis implantation are mechanical failure (less than 5% after 5-year follow-up with currently available three-piece prostheses) and infection. With antibiotic prophylaxis, the infection rate is 2-3% and may be further reduced by using an antibiotic-impregnated or hydrophilic-coated implant. Infection requires removing the prosthesis, antibiotic administration and re-implantation after 6-12 months. However, 82% success rates have been achieved using salvage therapy, involving removal and re-implantation immediately following copious irrigation of the corpora with a multi-antibiotic solution. Although diabetes is considered to be a main risk factor for infection, this is not supported by current data.
Recommendations for ED Treatment
modification must precede or accompany ED treatment • Pro-erectile treatments have to be given 1b at the earliest opportunity after radical prostatectomy • If a curable cause of ED is found, treat • PDE5 inhibitors are first-line therapy Erectile Dysfunction 107
• Daily administration of PDE5 inhibitors 1b may improve results and restore erectile function • Inadequate/incorrect prescription and poor patient education are the main causes of a lack of response to PDE5 inhibitors efficacy in hypogonadic non-responders to PDE5 inhibitors moderate ED, psychogenic ED, or in patients with contraindications to PDE5 inhibitors used in patients with stable relationship • Intracavernous injection is second-line • Penile implant is third-line therapy LE = level of evidence; GR = grade of recommendation; ED = erectile dysfunction; PDE5 inhibitor = phosphodiesterase type 5 inhibitor. 108 Erectile Dysfunction
Figure 3. Treatment algorithm for ED
Treatment of erectile dysfunction
Offer conjoint psychosocial and medical treatment inhibitors
Consider alternative or combination therapy PDE5 inhibitor = phosphodiesterase type 5 inhibitor. Erectile Dysfunction 109
Definition, Epidemiology and Risk Factors
There has been difficulty in gaining consensus on how best to
define PE. The two most widely accepted definitions are:
• The Second International Consultation on Sexual and
Erectile Dysfunction has defined PE as ‘ejaculation with minimal stimulation and earlier than desired, before or soon after penetration, which causes bother or distress, and over which the sufferer has little or no voluntary control’. • The International Society for Sexual Medicine (ISSM) has adopted a completely new definition of lifelong PE, which is the first evidence-based definition, ‘Premature ejacula-tion is a male sexual dysfunction characterized by ejaculation which always or nearly always occurs prior to or within about one minute of vaginal penetration; and inability to delay ejacu-lation on all or nearly all vaginal penetrations; and negative personal consequences, such as distress, bother, frustration and/or the avoidance of sexual intimacy’. Thus, premature ejaculation may be classified as ‘lifelong’ (pri-mary) or ‘acquired’ (secondary). Lifelong PE is characterised by onset from the first sexual experience and remains a prob-lem during life. Ejaculation occurs too fast before vaginal pen-etration or < 1-2 min afterwards. Acquired PE is characterised by a gradual or sudden onset with ejaculation being normal before onset of the problem. Time to ejaculation is short, but not usually as fast as in lifelong PE.
Premature ejaculation is the most common male sexual dys-function, with prevalence rates of 20-30%. Limited data sug-gest that the prevalence of lifelong PE, defined as intravaginal 110 Erectile Dysfunction
ejaculatory latency time (IELT) <1-2 min, is about 2-5%. The aetiology of PE is unknown, with little data to support sug-gested biological and psychological hypotheses, including anxiety, penile hypersensitivity and serotonin receptor dys-function. In contrast to erectile dysfunction, the prevalence of PE is not affected by age. Risk factors for PE are generally unknown. Premature ejaculation has a detrimental effect on self-confi-dence and relationship with the partner. It may cause mental distress, anxiety, embarrassment and depression. However, most men with PE do not seek help.
Diagnostic Work-up
Diagnosis of PE is based on the patient’s medical and sexual
history. The history should classify PE as lifelong or acquired
and determine whether PE is situational (under specific cir-
cumstances or with a specific partner) or consistent. Special
attention should be given to the length of time of ejaculation,
degree of sexual stimulus, impact on sexual activity and QoL,
and drug use or abuse. It is also important to distinguish PE
from ED.
The use of IELT alone is not sufficient to define PE, as there is significant overlap between men with and without PE. In everyday clinical practice, self-estimated IELT is sufficient. The need to assess PE objectively has produced several ques-tionnaires, such as the Premature Ejaculation Diagnostic Tool (PEDT). Other questionnaires used to characterise PE and determine treatment effects include the Premature Ejaculation Profile (PEP), the Index of Premature Ejaculation Erectile Dysfunction 111
(IPE), and the Male Sexual Health Questionnaire Ejaculatory Dysfunction (MSHQ-EjD). Currently, their role is optional in everyday clinical practice.
Physical examination includes a brief examination of the vascular, endocrine and neurological systems to identify underlying medical conditions associated with PE or other sexual dysfunctions, such as chronic illness, endocrinopathy, autonomic neuropathy, Peyronie’s disease, urethritis or pros-tatitis. Laboratory or physiological testing should be directed by specific findings from history or physical examination and is not routinely recommended. Recommendations for diagnosis of PE
• Diagnosis and classification of PE is based on medical and sexual history. It should be multidimensional and assess IELT, perceived control, distress and interpersonal difficulty due to the ejaculatory dysfunction • Clinical use of self-estimated IELT is adequate. Stopwatch-measured IELT is necessary in clinical trials potential to identify men with PE. Further research is needed before they can be recommended for clinical use 112 Erectile Dysfunction
• Physical examination may be necessary 3 in initial assessment of PE to identify underlying medical conditions associated with PE or other sexual dysfunctions particularly ED • Routine laboratory or neurophysiological 3 tests are not recommended. Additional tests should be directed by specific findings from history or physical examination LE = level of evidence; IELT = intravaginal ejaculatory laten-cy time; GR = grade of recommendation. Treatment of PE
In many relationships, PE causes few if any problems. In such
cases, treatment should be limited to psychosexual counsel-
ling. Before beginning treatment, it is essential to discuss
patient expectations thoroughly. Erectile dysfunction or other
sexual dysfunction or genitourinary infection (e.g. prostatitis)
should be treated first or at the same time as PE.
Various behavioural techniques have demonstrated benefit in treating PE. In lifelong PE, behavioural techniques are not recommended for first-line treatment. They are time-intensive, require the support of a partner and can be difficult to do. Pharmacotherapy is the basis of treatment in lifelong PE but all medical treatments are off-label indications. Only chronic selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and on-demand topical anaesthetic agents have consistently shown efficacy in PE. A treatment algorithm for PE is presented in Figure 4.
Erectile Dysfunction 113
Psychological/behavioural strategies
Behavioural strategies mainly include the ‘stop-start’ pro-
gramme developed by Semans and its modification, the
‘squeeze’ technique, proposed by Masters and Johnson (several
modifications exist). Masturbation before anticipation of sexual
intercourse is another technique used by many younger men.
Overall, success rates of 50-60% have been reported short term. A double blind, randomised, crossover study showed that pharmacological treatment resulted in greater IELT prolongation than behavioural therapy. Furthermore, clinical experience suggests that improvements achieved with these techniques are generally not maintained long term. Topical anaesthetic agents
Lidocaine-prilocaine cream (5%) is applied for 20-30 min prior
to intercourse. Prolonged application of a topical anaesthetic
agent (30-45 min) may result in loss of erection due to numb-
ness of the penis. A condom is required to avoid diffusion
of the topical anaesthetic agent into the vaginal wall causing
numbness in the partner. In two RCTs, lidocaine-prilocaine
cream significantly increased the stopwatch-measured IELT
compared to placebo. No significant side-effects have been
reported. An aerosol formulation of lidocaine 7.5 mg plus
prilocaine 2.5 mg (Topical Eutectic Mixture for Premature
Ejaculation, TEMPE) is under evaluation and has shown
similar results.
SS-cream is a topical anaesthetic agent made from the extracts of nine herbs. It is applied to the glans penis 1 h before and washed off immediately prior to coitus. In a RCT, application 114 Erectile Dysfunction
of 0.2 g SS-cream significantly improved IELT and satisfaction compared to the placebo group. Mild local burning and mild pain were reported by 18.5% of patients. No adverse effects on sexual function or partner or systemic side-effects were observed. selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors
Daily selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are the
first choice of treatment in PE, but are used off-label for PE.
Commonly used SSRIs include paroxetine (20-40 mg/day),
sertraline (25-200 mg/day) and fluoxetine (10-60 mg).
Based on a systematic review and meta-analysis, SSRIs were expected to increase the geometric mean IELT by 2.6-fold to 13.2-fold. Paroxetine was found to be superior to fluoxetine, clomipramine and sertraline. Ejaculation delay may start a few days after drug intake, but it is more evident after 1-2 weeks and may be maintained for several years. Common side-effects of SSRIs include fatigue, drowsiness, yawning, nausea, vomit-ing, dry mouth, diarrhoea and perspiration; they are usually mild and gradually improve after 2-3 weeks. Decreased libido, anorgasmia, anejaculation and ED have been also reported. On-demand treatment is inferior to daily dosing, but may be combined with an initial trial of daily treatment or concomi-tant low-dose daily treatment to reduce adverse effects. Dapoxetine is a potent SSRI, which has been specially designed as an on-demand oral treatment for PE. An integrated analysis of two RCTs reported that dapoxetine, 30 and 60 mg, improved IELT significantly compared to placebo. Improved ejaculation control was reported by 51% and 58% of patients in the 30 Erectile Dysfunction 115
mg and 60 mg dosage groups, respectively. Both dapoxetine doses were effective on the first dose. Common adverse events were nausea, diarrhoea, headache and dizziness. The propor-tions of men with a two-category or greater increase in control and satisfaction with sexual intercourse (from a 5-point scale, ‘very poor’ to ‘very good’) with dapoxetine 30 and 60 mg were 36.3% and 44.5%, respectively (vs 15% with placebo). In another RCT, dapoxetine reduced the personal distress and interpersonal difficulty associated with PE. Dapoxetine has been approved (December 2008) for the on-demand treatment of PE in seven European countries (Sweden, Austria, Finland, Germany, Spain, Italy and Portugal). This is currently the first and only drug approved for such an indication. Phosphodiesterase type 5 inhibitors
Several recent studies have supported the therapeutic role
of PDE5 inhibitors in PE. However, there is only one RCT
comparing sildenafil to placebo. Although IELT was not sig-
nificantly improved, sildenafil increased confidence, the per-
ception of ejaculatory control and overall sexual satisfaction,
reduced anxiety and decreased the refractory time to achieve a
second erection after ejaculation.
In two other RCTs, lidocaine-prilocaine monotherapy showed similar efficacy to that of combination with sildenafil, while the efficacy of sildenafil alone was similar to placebo. In another study, Sildenafil significantly improved IELT and satisfaction and reduced overall anxiety compared to several SSRIs and the ‘pause-squeeze’ technique. Several open-label studies found that sildenafil combined with an SSRI is superior to SSRI monotherapy.
116 Erectile Dysfunction
Recommendations for PE treatment

dysfunction or genitourinary infection (e.g. prostatitis) should be treated first • Behavioural techniques can benefit PE. However, they are time intensive, require the support of a partner and can be difficult to do • Daily SSRIs are first-line, off-label, pharmacological treatment for PE. The pharmacokinetic profile of currently available SSRIs is not amenable to on-demand dosing • Dapoxetine, a short-acting SSRI, has already been approved for the on-demand treatment of PE in seven European Countries • Topical anaesthetic agents provide viable • Recurrence is likely after treatment pharmacotherapy to enhance prevention of relapse LE = level of evidence; GR = grade of recommendation; ED = erectile dysfunction; PE = premature ejaculation; SSRI = selec-tive serotonin reuptake inhibitor; pm = on-demand adminstra-tion Erectile Dysfunction 117
Figure 4. Management of PE
Clinical diagnosis of premature ejaculation based on
patient/partner history
• Perceived degree of ejaculatory control Treatment of premature ejaculation
• If PE is secondary to ED, treat ED first or concomitantly Lifelong PE
Lifelong PE
Attempt graduated withdrawal of Drug therapy after 6-8 weeks
Behavioural therapy includes stop/start technique, squeeze and sensate focus Pharmacotherapy (off label) includes SSRIs (daily use) and topical anaesthetics; it is recommended as first-line treatment option in lifelong PE Consider dapoxetine for on-demand use (the only approved drug for PE) PE = premature ejaculation; IELT = intravaginal ejaculatory latency time; ED = erectile dysfunction; SSRI = selective sero-tonin receptor inhibitor. Adapted from Lue et al. Summary of the recommendations on sexual dysfunctions in men. J Sex Med 2004;1:6-23. 118 Erectile Dysfunction
This short booklet text is based on the more comprehensive EAU guidelines (ISBN 978-90-79754-09-0), available to all members of the European Association of Urology at their website - Erectile Dysfunction 119


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