Topical anesthetic agents seem to be effective and are generally well tolerated for patients with premature ejaculation (PE), according to a review published in Urology (2013;81:799-804).

Chunxiao Pu, MD, from Sichuan University in China, and colleagues conducted a systematic literature review and meta-analysis including data from eight eligible randomized controlled trials to assess the efficacy of topical anesthetic agents on intravaginal ejaculatory latency time (IELT).

In the pooled analysis, the researchers found that IELT was significantly improved in the topical anesthetic agent group versus the placebo group. In subgroup analyses, significant improvements were observed in the domains of ejaculatory control, sexual satisfaction, and distress in the Index of Premature Ejaculation questionnaire. Compared with the placebo group, the topical anesthesia group experienced a significant 4.2 times greater overall incidence of adverse events, although almost all were mild and transient.

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“Considering these results, on-demand topical anesthetic agents could be considered a treatment option for patients with lifelong PE,” the investigator stated. “Large, multicenter, prospective randomized controlled trials should be anticipated in the future to confirm the safety and efficacy of topical anesthetic agents.”