Sertraline is a medication that belongs to a group of antidepressants called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). As well as treating depression, it may help people experiencing premature ejaculation.
Premature ejaculation (PE) is a condition in which a person with a penis ejaculates very quickly when sexually stimulated. Sertraline may help a person last longer before ejaculating.
In this article, we look at both sertraline and PE in more detail. We also discuss the effectiveness of sertraline as a treatment for PE and list some alternative treatment options.
Sertraline works by increasing the levels of serotonin in the brain. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that transmits messages between neurons.
As well as regulating mood, serotonin also plays a role in memory, eating, and sleep.
PE is a fairly common condition in which a person ejaculates quickly with very little sexual stimulation. It can be frustrating for the individual and can often lead to unfulfilling sexual interactions.
PE can happen as a result of psychological or physical reasons or a combination of both. Some of these may include:
There is some scientific evidence to suggest that SSRIs may be an effective treatment for PE. Although it does not mention sertraline specifically, a 2019 study states that SSRIs are the gold standard of treatment for PE.
A 2019 study looked at two groups of people with PE. One group took sertraline twice daily, while the other took it 4 hours before sex. The researchers found that both daily use of the drug and taking it a few hours before sex increased ejaculation time.
People should be aware that sertraline has a few possible side effects, including:
- decreased appetite
- excessive sweating
- failure to ejaculate
- decreased sex drive
Once a person becomes accustomed to the medication, it is likely that the side effects will lessen. If the side effects are persistent or extreme, a person should discuss stopping the medication with their doctor.
However, rather than suddenly stopping the medication, a person should gradually reduce the dose to prevent extra side effects.
A person who wishes to take sertraline for PE will need to get a prescription from their healthcare provider.
Sertraline dosages can vary. In the 2019 study above, the participants in the first group received the drug in a 50-milligram (mg) dose every 12 hours. However, sertraline can come in dosages as low as 25 mg per day and as high as 200 mg per day.
A doctor will be able to advise a person on the appropriate dosage of sertraline to help with PE.
Although sertraline is one possible treatment for PE, there are several alternative treatments that a person may want to try. Some of these may be useful for addressing the underlying cause of PE.
Some examples of alternative treatments for PE include:
If the cause of PE is psychological, it may be useful for a person to attend sex therapy.
A sex therapist can help counsel a person to address any emotional issues or trauma that is causing the condition. They can also suggest behavioral techniques to increase the time that it takes a person to ejaculate.
Behavioral techniques are exercises that a person can practice to help them delay their ejaculation.
A popular behavioral technique for PE is the
The person should repeat this process a few times before ejaculating.
If the cause of PE is a physical condition, such as an issue with the thyroid, a doctor may provide oral medication to address the condition directly.
Desensitizing sprays work by applying a local anesthetic to the head and shaft of the penis. The anesthetic numbs the area slightly, leading to a less intense feeling during sexual activity and intercourse.
An older study highlights that applying a particular PE spray 5 minutes before sex led to study participants having better control over ejaculation and an increase in sexual satisfaction.
Sertraline may be a viable treatment for people experiencing PE. Scientific research suggests that it may help delay ejaculation and increase sexual satisfaction.
A person may wish to try sertraline alongside alternative treatments to address the underlying cause of their PE.