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February 24, 2000 04:54pm
Herbal cream may help premature ejaculation
Source: Reuters Health

(NEW YORK, NY) -- Men suffering from premature ejaculation may benefit from an Asian herbal remedy called SS-cream, a new study suggests. The ointment significantly delays ejaculation about 80% of the time in men who use it, according to a report in the February issue of the journal Urology.

The cream contains nine herbal extracts, including Ginseng Redix Alba, Angelicae Gigantic Radix and Cistanchis Herb. The active ingredients, which include bufosteroid and eugenol, are thought to desensitize nerves and dull feeling, according to lead study author Hyung Ki Choi, of Yonsei University College of Medicine in Seoul, and colleagues.

``This agent, based on the preliminary data, appears promising,'' said Dr. Natan Bar-Chama, the director of male reproductive medicine and surgery at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York, in an interview with Reuters Health.

``The number of patients who suffer from this disorder is extremely high, it's a very prevalent condition. Unfortunately, very few effective therapies have been available,'' said Bar-Chama, who was not involved in the new research.

The study included 106 men aged 20 to 50 who could maintain an erection for an average of a 1 1/2 minutes before ejaculating. Only 11% of the men and their partners reported satisfaction during sex.

The men were given six packets of ointment, five that contained SS-cream, and one that contained an inactive placebo. The cream was applied to the penis one hour before intercourse.

When the men used the SS-cream, the time from initiation of intercourse to ejaculation was about 11 minutes. With the placebo cream, intercourse lasted about 2 1/2 minutes. Overall, the SS-cream increased the length of intercourse about 80% of the time, compared with 15% of the time with the placebo.

Eighty-two percent of the couples said that they were more sexual satisfaction after using the SS-cream, compared with 20% when using the placebo.

However, some subjects experienced side-effects. Almost 19% of the time the SS-cream caused mild pain and burning. For some of the patients, SS-cream might have been too effective; four of the men could not reach orgasm after 45 minutes of intercourse. Conversely, three of the men using the ointment were not able to achieve erections when using the cream.

These side effects were mild and localized, conclude the researchers, who developed the product and ``have financial interests and other relationships with SS-cream,'' according to the report.

``With these results, we believe that SS-cream is simple, safe, and effective in the treatment of premature ejaculation,'' they write.

The study is well-designed and the findings suggest further study is warranted, according to Bar-Chama.

``I think the study design as well as the number of patients enrolled support their conclusion that this looks promising,'' he said. ``Further testing is warranted as well as confirmation by other centers -- all the studies have been based on one center's experience.''

It is also not clear exactly how the cream delays ejaculation, according to Bar-Chama. ``These are natural compounds and I would love to know what the origin is,'' he said. While the cream is not currently available in the US, it should be the subject of further study, he said.

``From my understanding this is something they have and are testing, it's not an agent that is currently available,'' he said. But if it was available, ``based on this data,'' Bar-Chama said he might recommend that patients try it. SOURCE: Urology 2000;55:257-261.

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