Normally Sci wouldn't bother with weird science until Friday (the rest of the week is reserved for ACTUAL science, you know. And terrible poetry, of course), but this is just too good. And there's no actual paper on it. So it's Tuesday Weird Journalistic Science...or something. So we're going to have to be...premature.
Premature Ejaculation: Marketing the Condition Before the Drug
*sits down, looks very concerned, and lowers glasses in a very sympathetic sort of manner *
Men, did you ever worry that you were...premature?
...bet you do now!
And that's the thing with some of these drugs, especially those for things like premature ejaculation. First thing the people marketing it have to do is convince you that you have a problem. And BOY, do you have a PROBLEM!!! I mean, if you're not pleasing your partner for AT LEAST a full 30 minutes of straight up sexual intercourse before it's all over well...feel inadequate yet?
If you do, you wouldn't be alone. After all, the straight up sexual intercourse time to ejaculation on average is only 5.4 minutes. Interestingly, sex therapists seem to think that the best time to ejaculation should be 7-13 minutes (one begins to wonder who exactly has unreasonable expectations). Does that mean all men are premature? Heck no. Does it mean that we can make you THINK so? But of course!
Now, Sci isn't being all down on the pharma industry (though sometimes she is). We all have to make a living somehow, and we all have to make much needed drugs somehow. If we all waited for poorly paid grad students to synthesize all of our medication...we'd be here a long time. I can only work so much, people. Sci is very odd when she doesn't sleep. But marketing a drug before it's approved, and aiming it people who may not actually have a condition anyway...
But anyway. Back to premature ejaculation. The current news coverage is focused on a drug up for FDA approval known as PSD 502 (because it doesn't have a market name yet, but there are some studies showing preliminary effectiveness). PSD 502 is a topical treatment for premature ejaculation, composed of lidocaine and prilocaine. Should those names seem familiar to you, it's because they are both well known topical anesthetics, like you get sometimes at the dentist. The idea (pretty well founded) is that premature ejaculation is caused by excessively penile sensitivity, and therefore a light anesthetic will make it feel less great and therefore make you last longer.
Sci isn't so sure about whether you'd want to be putting a topical anesthetic on your penis, but desperate times...also, the only other treatment which has been developed (but got rejected by the FDA) is based on selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, used commonly as antidepressants, and which have well known side effects of reduced libido and delayed ejaculation. However, that does mean taking a pill which affects your central nervous system, and that's a pretty big deal, and is associated with other side effects. So topical anesthetics may be a better answer, and might end up being associated with fewer side effects, though future studies will still have to bear this out.
However, no approval from the FDA yet. So perhaps they shouldn't have already launched a website, with lots of details about premature ejaculation (of course it's hard to market something with a stigma, but I also think this would make some people all the more eager to buy). Could we call this reaction...premature?