A review of more than a dozen studies that indicate the erectile dysfunction drugs Viagra, Levitra and Cialis may also be useful for warding off premature ejaculation has found that while the pills do make a difference, much of the research is flawed.
Of the 14 studies included in the review, 11 found that the medications helped increase how long men could have intercourse before orgasm, but the report’s lead author, Dr. Anastasios Asimakopoulos from the University of Tor Vergata in Rome, Italy, said all may not be as it seems.
“There is still inadequate evidence to propose the use of (these types of drugs) in treating (premature ejaculation),” he told Reuters Health.
The authors write in the Journal of Sexual Medicine that because one of the side-effects of the drugs is delayed ejaculation, some studies have focused on using them to address premature ejaculation problems — something that affects between 4 and 39 percent of men.
In the new study, Dr. Asimakopoulos and his colleagues reviewed 14 studies that measured the effect of erectile dysfunction medications on premature ejaculation. Nine of those studies used an erectile dysfunction drug by itself, four combined the drug with an antidepressant medication, and one combined the drug with behavioral therapy.
The researchers found there were concerns when comparing the studies, including the fact that they didn’t always agree on the very definition of premature ejaculation. In addition, fewer than half the studies used a placebo to help determine whether the drug itself was responsible for any effects seen.
While some studies that used placebos did find improvements, Dr. Asimakopoulos said, “There seems to be a global positive effect of these drugs in delaying ejaculation; however, the existing evidence is still partial and their role remains controversial.”