Dapoxetine (Priligy): Mechanism of Action, Contraindications, Dosages, Side Effects

Priligy General information

Generic Priligy
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Therapeutic area: Erectile Dysfunction
Active substance: Dapoxetine
Effect Duration: 24 hours

Priligy is a treatment for premature ejaculation, a condition under which men cannot delay ejaculation and thus suffer from anxiety and insecurity in their relationships. While Priligy is a well-known brand name, currently owned by Johnson & Johnson, the actual chemical compound which provides the desired effect is called dapoxetine. There is a number of generic dapoxetine drugs marketed as Prolongal, Sustinex, Joypox, etc., which all have the same characteristics. Dapoxetine is often added to erectile dysfunction (ED) medications, as premature ejaculation and ED often occur together.

Although the drug was originally developed as an antidepressant, soon it became clear that due to its short half-life, it was not suitable for the treatment of depression. However, it was found that dapoxetine helps to delay ejaculation. This is how the very first PE medication was introduced to the public. While there are plenty of other solutions such as creams and sprays, dapoxetine is currently the only effective oral medication for this common condition.

Mechanism of action

PriligyDapoxetine is basically a short-acting antidepressant, which belongs to the group of SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors), widely used for the treatment of various anxiety disorders in the outpatient setting. The drug affects brain function, namely the consumption of serotonin, a biologically active chemical substance, through which an impulse is transmitted from the nerve cell to the muscle tissue. Dapoxetine blocks the reuptake of this substance by brain cells, which leads to an increase in the serotonin concentration. It is assumed that this in turn delays the onset of ejaculation and significantly prolongs the time of sexual intercourse.

Although the exact mechanism remains unclear, the drug presumably works by reducing stress, whether accumulated or short-term, making a man feel less tense and more relaxed, thereby allowing to enjoy sex longer and thus preventing premature ejaculation. Thanks to dapoxetine, a man becomes able to gain better control over his orgasm and time of its occurrence. In addition, dapoxetine helps to overcome insecurity and enhance the experience of being intimate with one’s partner. Clinical studies have shown that regular use of dapoxetine hydrochloride can increase the time of sexual intercourse by 3-4 times. Notable effect is achieved even with a single use.


Dapoxetine is a potent drug for the treatment of premature ejaculation and not a dietary supplement intended for healthy people. Therefore, it is important to understand whether one’s situation falls under the category of sexual dysfunction. The modern definition of this condition was given in 2008 and includes three criteria. Thus, premature ejaculation is a sexual dysfunction in which (1) ejaculation almost always occurs before the desired time, (2) attempts to delay ejaculation are always or almost always unsuccessful, (3) there are negative psychological consequences like frustration or avoidance of subsequent sexual intercourse. PE is of two major types, permanent or acquired.

Based on clinical studies, it is accepted that most men with PE ejaculate within one minute after penetration. At the same time, premature ejaculation is the most common complaint related to the men’s sexual life, according to health workers. However, PE should not be confused with lack of experience and skill to delay one’s ejaculation, which is often the case for younger people. Dapoxetine should only be taken when natural, non-drug methods fail to bring the desired result.

Efficiency of Priligy

The effectiveness of dapoxetine treatment depends on the type and cause of premature ejaculation. While the medication will be very effective for some patients, others, unfortunately, won’t benefit from the drug. Research results show that taking dapoxetine helps 70% of men in various extent. During clinical trials, subjects took doses of 20, 40, and 60 mg, and reported an increase in IELT by 2-3 times, in direct proportion to the dose. Intravaginal ejaculatory latency time – IELT – is a scientific term to describe how long men last in bed.

More than 6,000 men from 18 to 82 years old, in 32 countries of the world, took part in the final stage of research. It allowed to confirm that dapoxetine is indeed an effective treatment for PE. Other post-marketing studies have shown even better results, with an increase by 5-6 times. Numerous user reviews confirm that small doses of dapoxetine may significantly prolong IELT in some men. The effectiveness of dapoxetine does not significantly depend on food intake and drinking small amounts of alcohol.


Since dapoxetine is a potent drug, it has contraindications and limitations that are important to consider. Neglecting the contraindications can lead to serious negative consequences, including fatal ones. That is why in most countries dapoxetine is a prescription drug and its use without prior medical consultation is not considered acceptable.

The main contraindications for dapoxetine treatment are associated with:

  • hypersensitivity to dapoxetine;
  • heart diseases (heart failure, coronary artery disease);
  • liver and kidney diseases;
  • taking MAO inhibitors, tricyclic antidepressants, norepinephrine and other drugs that affect serotonin consumption;
  • mania, bipolar personality disorder;
  • age under 18.

For a complete list of contraindications and limitations, please refer to the medication guide that comes with your product.

Side effects of Priligy

Side effects, apart from high prices on brand name Priligy pills, are the main reasons why men discontinue treatment, even if it brings the desired effect. The most common side effects are nausea, dizziness, headache, diarrhea, abdominal pain, insomnia and anxiety. The frequency of side effects increases in direct proportion to the dosage and frequency of administration. According to a clinical study, dizziness occurred in 6% and 11% of men when taking – correspondingly – 30mg and 60mg of dapoxetine when needed. Another group, which was taking 60mg daily, reported dizziness in 15% of subjects.

Unfortunately, there are more severe side effects – depression, lack of sexual desire, sudden sleep onset, eye pain, etc. – which are also very rare.

Research has also shown that the likelihood of side effects associated with digestion increases if fatty foods were taken shortly before taking dapoxetine. Alcohol intake apparently leads to an increase in adverse effects, too.


Dapoxetine can be taken at any time of the day, regardless of food intake, but not less than 3 hours before the anticipated sexual intercourse. One pill is swallowed and washed down with plenty of room-temperature water. The drug has a bitter taste.

While moderate food and alcohol intake do not significantly affect the effectiveness of the drug, they may increase the likelihood of side effects. Taking dapoxetine with certain types of recreational drugs, such as ketamine, MDMA, and LSD is especially dangerous, since their combination can cause arrhythmia, hyperthermia, and serotonin syndrome.

Priligy Dosages

The recommended dosages are 30mg and 60mg depending on how severe the condition is. Men with mild cases of acquired PE have reported that taking 15mg (a standard pill divided in half) of dapoxetine was enough for them to get satisfactory results. On the other hand, increased doses of dapoxetine may aggravate side effects, especially when taking more than 60mg at a time. Consequently, it is highly recommended to start with the lowest effective dosage to learn how your body reacts on the drug.

Self-treatment with dapoxetine

It is no secret that Priligy and other dapoxetine-containing drugs are widely taken by men to prolong sexual intercourse, without PE being diagnosed in them by a health worker. Consumers should consider two dangers associated with self-medication: first, dapoxetine has many contraindications and drug interactions that the user may not take into account due to insufficient medical expertise. This can lead to negative consequences for which only the consumer alone is responsible. Second, premature ejaculation can signal health problems and the necessity of changes in the current lifestyle. Factually, dapoxetine does not cure premature ejaculation, but only temporarily removes its symptoms. Taking any potent drug regularly puts a strain on the liver and kidneys, so dapoxetine self-therapy may not be the best idea from the health perspective. Regular exercise, healthy eating habits and psychological counseling are the preferred ways to improve sexual health for people who have not been diagnosed with premature ejaculation.

Disclaimer: Diagnosis and treatment should be supervised by a health worker to avoid negative consequences associated with self-therapy. Treatment and drug selection require medical expertise; before taking any potent medication, consult a doctor to avoid damaging your health. Information on our website is meant for reference only, it should not be used independently to diagnose illnesses, choose particular drugs, or plan treatment.