How Does Priligy Work?

Everything you need to know about the premature ejaculation treatment Priligy.

Published: Wednesday 11 May 2022



In this guide to Priligy, we’ll explain how the treatment affects your serotonin levels, how it helps to achieve delayed climax, as well as other methods of improving premature ejaculation.

What is Priligy and what is it used for?

Before delving into what Priligy does, let’s first explain the condition it aims to treat.

Premature ejaculation is a condition where men struggle to control their ejaculation and always or nearly always last less than 2 minutes during sex. The intravaginal ejaculation latency time in men (IELT, ie. the time between starting penetrative sex and ejaculating) is typically around 5-6 minutes, but is often less than 1 or 2 minutes for those experiencing PE.[1,2] It’s common for early climax to occur during penetration, but it could also happen following any form of sexual stimulation such as foreplay.

The issue lies in that most women tend to take longer than 2 minutes of sex to orgasm, and so it can be distressing for both parties if orgasms aren’t mutually reached during sex.

Priligy is the first and currently the only approved oral medication specifically used to treat premature ejaculation (PE). Taken 1-3 hours before before sex, the priligy tablet delays ejaculation and extends the time taken to ejaculate by 2 to 3 times.

How does Priligy Work?

Priligy is a branded premature ejaculation treatment containing the active ingredient dapoxetine hydrochloride, a type of medicine referred to as a short-acting selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI).

Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that our nerves cells produce and use to send signals throughout the nervous system. It’s thought to have a regulatory role in mood, emotion and sleep, as well as helping with the healing of wounds and maintaining bone health.[3] It is also involved in ejaculation, and when serotonin levels are high, it can help to prolong the time it takes to reach orgasm.

Priligy (Dapoxetine) prevents the reuptake of some serotonin by nerve cells, meaning that more serotonin is available to further pass signals. This process has also been found to be effective at treating depression, anxiety disorders and mood disorders, and other SSRIs are often prescribed for these purposes. Other SSRIs may also cause delayed ejaculation as a side effect, but dapoxetine is formulated to be particularly fast-acting (although also shorter-lived), and therefore helps men to have greater control of their ejaculation when needed.

How to Treat Premature Ejaculation

Behavioural Treatments

How to approach your premature ejaculation may depend on which of the 2 PE types you have. Primary premature ejaculation is where you’ve always had the issue of early ejaculation, whereas secondary premature ejaculation is where you have recently developed the problem. Tackling the underlying cause of premature ejaculation should always be your first approach to alleviate the symptoms.

With primary PE, the root cause might be psychological, perhaps stemming from a traumatic sexual experience in younger life. In this case, a form of talking therapy could be useful in an attempt to learn to overcome the psychological barriers.

For secondary PE, both psychological and physical factors might be at play. Drinking too much alcohol, inflammation of the prostate gland (prostatitis) or other physical factors may be contributing to your rapid ejaculation, so it’s best to address these directly.

Regardless of your PE type, there are several techniques you can use to build up your sexual stamina. Give the below methods a try:

  • Masturbate an hour or two before sex.
  • Utilise the stop-start technique of pausing stimulation when you’re getting close to orgasm, and continuing masterbation/intercourse once the feeling has subsided.
  • Squeeze the head of the penis when you feel close to ejaculating.
  • Do pelvic floor exercises to gain greater control of your surrounding muscles.
  • Use a thick condom during sex to reduce stimulation of the penis.

Medication Treatments

If you are still experiencing premature ejaculation after trying the aforementioned approaches, treatment is an effective option for immediately improving your intravaginal ejaculation latency time.

Priligy is the most effective oral treatment available for PE, available in 30mg and 60mg strengths.[4]Take a priligy tablet with a glance of water on an ‘on-demand’ basis; 1-3 hours before sex is ideal reduce risk of fainting. After 1 hour the medication will have taken effect, and can last up to 4 hours.

Lidocaine is a local anaesthetic that can help to treat PE when applied to the penis as it helps to reduce sensitivity. STUD100 is a convenient spray containing lidocaine and is a favourite among many for helping to prolong intercourse.

It’s worth noting that to these 2 treatments will not ‘cure’ premature ejaculation longer term, but they are nonetheless very effective as an immediate solution to delaying ejaculation and help both you and your partner enhance your sexual experience.

Make sure that you read the treatment guidelines carefully, especially around other medications you may also be taking, as these treatments should not be used in combination with certain medications such as Viagra, a treatment for erectile dysfunction. Check out our article on the difference between erectile dysfunction and premature ejaculation for more information.

Toby Watson

Authored by Toby Watson

Pharmica Medical Writer


Toby (BSc) is an experienced medical writer, producing educational articles on many areas of health including sexual health, fitness, nutrition and mental health.

He particularly enjoys debunking misconceptions around heath conditions and their treatments, researching each topic in detail and writing easily-accessible content.

How to Stop Premature Ejaculation: The Definitive Guide
How to Stop Premature Ejaculation: The Definitive Guide