How Does Priligy Work?

Discover how Priligy works and what makes Priligy an effective premature ejaculation treatment in our latest guide.

Updated: Monday 16 October 2023

How Does Priligy Work

Priligy was launched in the UK as a licensed treatment for premature ejaculation (PE) in November 2013[1]. Ever since, Priligy has grown to become one of the most popular medications to help delay climax and is among the most trusted climax control pills on the market.

But how does Priligy work? How long do its effects last and is Priligy safe when taken with other treatments or by individuals with other medical conditions?

Our experts have sifted through the latest medical studies and research to bring you answers to these questions and more in this ultimate guide to Priligy.

What does Priligy do?

Priligy is a premature ejaculation treatment. According to the NHS[2], premature ejaculation is defined as a condition where an individual ejaculates within one (1) minute of intercourse, foreplay, or masturbation. Priligy helps men have greater control over their ejaculation time when needed so they can last longer in bed.

How Priligy works

Priligy works by moderating the body’s levels of serotonin - a neurochemical that transmits messages between neurons in the brain during ejaculation.

The active ingredient inside Priligy (dapoxetine hydrochloride) prevents serotonin reuptake by nerve cells, giving the brain access to more serotonin to pass signals when Priligy is taken. This can delay ejaculation because ejaculation timing depends on neurological and hormonal pathways in the brain that rely on serotonin.

How long does Priligy last?

The effects of Priligy can last from one to several hours depending on the strength of the dose taken and the physiology of the individual who takes it. There is no scientific evidence to suggest that Priligy lasts for an exact period of time for everyone.

Is Priligy effective?

According to studies[3,4,5], Priligy is effective as a treatment for premature ejaculation in men aged 18 to 64 years because it delays ejaculation in various instances including after vaginal penetration.

The efficacy of Priligy depends on the frequency with which it is used. Priligy is not formulated for continuous daily use, so its effects may wane if the body develops a tolerance for dapoxetine hydrochloride, the active ingredient in Priligy.

Whether or not Priligy is effective also depends on whether the individual taking this treatment experiences primary/life-long or secondary/acquired PE.

With primary PE, the root cause might be psychological such as a previous sexual experience. In this case, therapy may be useful as it can help the affected individual overcome psychological issues that may be manifesting as PE.

For secondary PE, both psychological and physical factors might be at play. This includes but is not limited to drinking too much alcohol, having an inflamed prostate gland (prostatitis), or struggling with self-confidence and self-esteem.

Priligy side effects

The table below summarises some of the common, occasional, and rare side effects of Priligy. Please note that the information below is not exhaustive.

Common Side Effects Occasional Side Effects Rare Side Effects
Dizziness Irritability Fainting
Headaches Numbness ('pins and needles') Irregular heartbeat
Nausea Digestive issues, such as diarrhoea, constipation, or stomach aches Feelings of lethargy and/or depression
Hot flushes Nasal congestion Low or high blood pressure

How to get the most out of Priligy

Priligy tablets are most effective when taken with a full glass of water 1-3 hours before sex as necessary. It is recommended to avoid drinking alcohol and/or taking recreational drugs to maximise the effects of Priligy.

It is also recommended to avoid taking no more than 1 tablet of the prescribed dose of Priligy every 24 hours, as doing so can reduce its effects when used in the future.

It is worth noting that there is no concrete evidence to suggest that taking Priligy before or after eating can change the intensity or duration of its effects.

Is Priligy safe?

Priligy and food

Priligy may be taken with or without most types of food with the exception of grapefruit. Research shows that eating grapefruit or drinking grapefruit juice may affect how the body absorbs the dapoxetine present in Priligy[6].

Consuming grapefruit or drinking grapefruit juice can result in several adverse side effects including but not limited to a loss of sex drive, problems reaching orgasm, and feelings of depression. Therefore, it is recommended to avoid grapefruit and grapefruit juice for at least 24 hours before taking Priligy.

Please note that Priligy contains lactose and may therefore be unsuitable for individuals who are lactose intolerant.

Priligy and alcohol

Research shows that consuming alcohol can result in heightened sexual arousal and an increase in sexual activity[7]. Given that Priligy is formulated to delay ejaculation, it’s common for those who experience premature ejaculation to seek answers to questions like ‘Can you take Priligy with alcohol?’.

The answer is that it is not recommended, because taking Priligy while under the influence of alcohol can result in dizziness and increase the risk of injury from fainting[8].

Priligy and Viagra

Priligy and Viagra are prescribed as treatments for premature ejaculation and erectile dysfunction respectively. Recent research suggests that premature ejaculation and erectile dysfunction can occur together and influence one another[9].

This begs the question - can you take Priligy and Viagra together? The answer is no because the priligy-viagra combination can cause hypotension (low blood pressure) which in turn can result in blurred vision, confusion, and fainting.

Priligy and Cialis

It is not recommended to take Priligy and Cialis at the same time as it can result in numerous adverse effects like hypotension, headaches, and/or fainting. This occurs because Priligy and Cialis interact in the same way as Priligy and Viagra (see previous section).

Priligy and other treatments

It is not recommended to take Priligy while also taking treatments for the following conditions:

  • Depression
  • Physical pain relief
  • Migraines
  • Schizophrenia
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Fungal conditions
  • HIV
  • Infections that require taking a course of antibiotics

If you are affected by any of the conditions listed above and wish to take Priligy, it is strongly recommended that you consult a GP beforehand.

Priligy and diabetes

Research shows that premature ejaculation is prevalent among people with diabetes because diabetes can affect neurotransmitters and various parts of the nervous system that control ejaculation[10].

Priligy and conditions affecting the organs

A study on the effects of Priligy on the kidneys found that individuals with severe kidney issues are more likely to have higher levels of dapoxetine (the active ingredient in Priligy) in their blood after taking Priligy[3].

This implies that kidney issues can increase the likelihood of experiencing the negative side effects of Priligy as the body can struggle to metabolise it correctly.

There is also empirical evidence to suggest that Priligy is unsuitable for patients with moderate to severe hepatic impairment (impairment of the liver). The scientific mechanism behind this is the same as for the kidneys - liver issues prevent the body from metabolising dapoxetine correctly, which can lead to adverse side effects.

Studies show that taking Priligy does not result in serious cardiovascular complications if the recommended doses are followed[11]. With that said, it is not recommended to take Priligy if you have heart problems as doing so may cause a drop in blood pressure.

If you intend to take Priligy and have a heart condition, it is vital to consult a pharmacist or GP beforehand.

Priligy and psychological conditions

As we touched on earlier in this article, Priligy is classified as a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor because it helps with the transmission of messages and signals between nerve cells and the brain.

Therefore, Priligy may adversely affect individuals interested in how to prevent premature ejaculation who are experiencing (or have experienced) symptoms of psychological conditions caused by low serotonin[12].

Complete an online consultation to discreetly order Priligy today

At Pharmica, we’ve built a reputation for being one of the UK’s leading online pharmacies by offering MHRA-approved treatments for premature ejaculation and an array of additional conditions.

We provide convenient online consultations for premature ejaculation and deliver all treatments discreetly. Moreover, we offer loyalty points for completed orders which may be redeemed and used for future purchases.

Discover first-hand why we’re rated 4.9 out of 5 across 160,000 reviews with more than a million patients helped by browsing and ordering from our full range of treatments today.

Kamran Bell

Written by: Kamran Bell

Pharmacist・GPHC Number 2231070

Kamran graduated with a four-year master's degree in pharmacy from Aston University in 2021. He completed a pre-registration year at a community pharmacy before working there for a further year. At Pharmica, Kamran provides expert patient advice and addresses clinical questions to ensure the health and well-being of our patients.

Carolina Goncalves

Medically Reviewed by: Carolina Goncalves

Superintendent Pharmacist・GPHC Number 2088658

Carolina Goncalves is the Superintendent Pharmacist at Pharmica, where she ensures patients receive exceptional healthcare and support, as part of a seamless online pharmacy service.

With a comprehensive professional background spanning more than 13 years, Carolina has extensive experience supporting Men’s and Women’s health. Carolina is responsible for providing expert treatment advice to thousands of patients in areas such as Sexual Health, Erectile Dysfunction, Hair Loss, Weight Loss and Asthma.

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How To Last Longer In Bed: Treatments & Techniques
How To Last Longer In Bed: Treatments & Techniques