If PE is causing a problem for you and your partner, treatment with Priligy tablets or EMLA cream may help you to delay orgasm.
Priligy tablets contain dapoxetine. This boosts the levels of serotonin in the body, causing a delayed reaction in the areas of the brain that trigger ejaculation.
EMLA cream is a numbing treatment. Its active ingredient is local anaesthetic which temporarily reduces sensitivity in the area it’s applied. If your penis is less sensitive, you may find it easier to delay ejaculation.
Whichever treatment you’re prescribed, you would need to take, or apply, it before you expect to have sex.
If you’re using Priligy tablets, take one tablet about three hours earlier. If you’re using EMLA cream, apply the prescribed amount to the underside of the head of the penis, just where it meets the shaft, about 20 minutes before sex. You must rinse or wipe off any remaining cream just before sex.
Like all medicines, it’s possible that these will cause side effects.
Priligy can cause nausea, dizziness, headaches, fainting and diarrhoea. If you notice any light-headedness you must not drive or operate machinery or undertake hazardous activities.
Common side effects for EMLA cream can include genital numbness and irritated skin for both you and your partner.
For the full information of a medicine’s side effects and how to take it, it’s important to read the Patient Information Leaflet that comes with your medicine.
It’s important that you tell us which other medicines you’re taking — whether they’re prescription or medicines you’ve bought without a prescription. We need to know so we can prescribe a suitable PE treatment for you. Some PE treatments should not be taken at the same time as certain other medicines and conditions.
Do not use EMLA cream with latex condoms. It may weaken them. You can find out what your condoms are made of by checking the packet, or you can ask a pharmacist.
Never take more than one Priligy tablet within 24 hours. Priligy must not be taken with alcohol or recreational drugs as these can cause serious side effects.
Neither of these treatments cure PE but they can treat it temporarily.
Priligy can be effective in up to 80% of men and it can double or triple the amount of time it takes to ejaculate. It might not work straight away. You may need to try it four separate times to see if it has an effect on you.
EMLA cream increases the amount of time a man lasts in bed in about 77% of cases.
If you’re using EMLA cream and your partner is pregnant, or trying to get pregnant, you should use an effective male condom. EMLA can weaken latex condoms.
If stress, anxiety or relationship issues are playing a part in your PE, talking to a therapist or counsellor can help. Many men find it hard or embarrassing to talk about something so personal. But discussing these issues — either on your own or with your partner — is an important way to help you get through them.
You can also try self-help techniques to better control your orgasms.
You can visit other healthcare providers, either online or in person. They may offer different treatments.
If you do not feel safe, are experiencing abuse or control, or have experienced this in the past, please find support below or send us a message:
Page last reviewed by: Dr. Christina Hennessey 21/06/2021