Reviewed by Katelyn Hagerty, FNP
Written by Our Editorial Team
Premature ejaculation happens to the best of us. If you came here looking for a solution, we’ve got you covered. Did you know that sertraline, a medication commonly prescribed for depression, can help with premature ejaculation as well?
In this article, we’ll give you a general overview of sertraline, including what it does, how it helps PE and potential side effects. We’ll also discuss other treatment options for PE if sertraline isn’t your thing.
If you’ve been known to pop the champagne before the party has even started, this one’s for you.
Premature ejaculation (PE) is a condition that causes you to reach orgasm before you intend to, and/or have trouble controlling when you ejaculate during sex.
PE is one of the most common sexual dysfunctions in the world, and affects men of all ages, backgrounds and body types, causing sexual performance issues and confidence issues in the bedroom. According to a study, premature ejaculation affects up to 39 percent of men worldwide.
Click here for more information and stats on premature ejaculation.
Commonly prescribed to treat depression, sertraline is an antidepressant in the SSRI class of medication. The brand name you may be more familiar with is Zoloft®.
Originally developed as an antidepressant, sertraline is used today to treat a variety of conditions, including obsessive compulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder and social anxiety disorder.
Sertraline is also used as an off-label medication to treat sexual health issues like premature ejaculation.
Sertraline is used as an off-label treatment for premature ejaculation. Off-label simply means that the FDA has not approved sertraline to treat this type of condition.
As such, there isn’t an official dose for sertraline prescribed for premature ejaculation, but healthcare providers will typically prescribe up to 50mg per day.
Most of the time, it takes a few weeks for sertraline to become fully effective.
As with all drugs, it’s best to follow your healthcare provider’s instructions and take your prescribed dose of sertraline as needed or on a daily basis for best results.
All SSRI medications have side effects. The good news is that the side effects are typically mild and the benefits of the drug usually outweigh potential side effects.
Common side effects of sertraline include nausea, diarrhea, changes in weight, dizziness, changes in sleeping patterns, tremor and dry mouth.
It's also important to note that you should not stop taking sertraline suddenly without your healthcare provider’s supervision. Discontinuing taking the drug can cause discontinuation syndrome.
Symptoms of discontinuation syndrome include dizziness, loss of coordination, fatigue, tingling, blurred vision, insomnia, anxiety, irritability and flu-like symptoms.
Additionally, do not take sertraline with NSAID pain relievers or blood thinners such as Warfarin, as it may increase the risk of stomach bleeding. Do not take St. John's Wort with sertraline.
Finally, while it may be tempting to take the medication after a successful date at a bar, sertraline should not be taken while drinking alcohol.
While sertraline is an effective off-label treatment for premature ejaculation, it's not the only PE treatment out there.
A medication called sildenafil (Generic Viagra) that is typically used to treat erectile dysfunction can also work to treat premature ejaculation.
While the mechanism for treating premature ejaculation with this drug is unknown, a 2007 study showed that men with premature ejaculation who take sildenafil tend to have longer ejaculation times than their peers.
Lidocaine is a widely used local anesthetic that can be effective for treating premature ejaculation. When used topically — like in our Delay Spray for Men — lidocaine can make your penis less sensitive to touch.
While lidocaine may reduce the physical sensations of sex, it can also help you to last longer in the bedroom.
Drugs are usually the most effective way to treat premature ejaculation, but they are not the only option.
Some techniques such as the “stop-start” strategy or the “squeeze” technique are easy — yet effective — when used properly.
According to one study, as many as 65 percent of men with premature ejaculation notice benefits from using the stop-start and squeeze strategies.
It's important to note, however, that these techniques aren't 100 percent effective. That means that you still might pop the champagne cork a little too early, even if you try to use them in time.
If you seen the movie There's Something About Mary, you know that masturbating before sex can be a great way to increase your ejaculation latency and avoid ejaculating too early.
Each time you orgasm, you begin a new refractory period. The refractory period is a phase in which you'll find it difficult to orgasm again.
Therefore, when done properly, this approach increases the time you last in bed.
While premature ejaculation affects millions of men worldwide, it is a highly treatable condition.
Sertraline is a medication that's commonly prescribed as an antidepressant, but that can be used effectively as an off-label treatment for premature ejaculation.
If you’re suffering from premature ejaculation, start a conversation with your healthcare provider to find out which treatment options work best for you.
For more information about premature ejaculation, check out our blog post Premature Ejaculation Exercises: 4 Exercises to Try.
Kate Hagerty is a board-certified Family Nurse Practitioner with over a decade of healthcare experience. She has worked in critical care, community health, and as a retail health provider.