J Korean Med Assoc.  2020 Jun;63(6):356-364. 10.5124/jkma.2020.63.6.356.

Pharmacological management of male sexual dysfunction

  • 1Department of Urology, Kangdong Sacred Heart Hospital, Hallym University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea


Male sexual disorders, which are the target of clinical treatment, can be largely divided into erectile dysfunction (ED), ejaculation disorder, infertility, sexual desire disorder, hypogonadism, and other diseases related to penile structure changes, such as Peyronieʼs disease. Current approaches to ED treatment for most men are based on pharmacotherapy. Pharmacotherapy has evolved since the introduction of papaverine and phenoxybenzamine in the early 1980s. Sildenafil, a phosphodiesterase type 5 inhibitor (PDE5I), was the first approved drug for ED. Currently, PDE5Is are the most widely prescribed drugs and have an overall efficacy of 60% to 80% in all categories of ED. Most drugs used in ED are peripheral agents that act on the penis. If a combined treatment with a central nervous system agent and peripheral agents is possible, it may be an effective treatment strategy with higher efficacy. Premature ejaculation (PE) is the most frequent ejaculatory disorder. The absence of a consensus on the definition of PE has served as an obstacle in the investigation of its prevalence and the effectiveness of treatment strategies. Although the etiology of PE is unknown, some biological and psychological hypotheses, including anxiety, penile hypersensitivity, and 5-hydroxytryptamine receptor dysfunction have been suggested. Dapoxetine hydrochloride, a short-acting selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor, was approved for on-demand treatment of PE. Off-label use of antidepressants, topical anesthetic agents, tramadol, and PDE5Is is now available as a pharmacological option. The aim of this review is to describe recent advancements in the pharmacological treatment of male sexual disorders, especially focused on ED and PE.


Erectile dysfunction; Premature ejaculation; Pharmacotherapy
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