Lidocaine and Benzocaine for Premature Ejaculation: Do They Work?

UltraPharmRX Medical Team

UltraPharmRX Medical Team

Premature ejaculation (PE) occurs when a man ejaculates sooner than he or his partner wants to. PE is by far the most common form of sexual dysfunction among men, with one in three male adults experiencing it.

One of the treatments healthcare professionals may prescribe for PE are topical products containing lidocaine and benzocaine to help you last longer in bed. They are safe when used under your healthcare provider’s guidance and may help give your sex life a boost.

 

A quick rundown on premature ejaculation (PE)

 

Premature ejaculation (PE) is known under several names, such as early ejaculation, premature climax, and rapid ejaculation. PE is a common sexual dysfunction affecting one in three men. PE occurs when a man ejaculates faster than his or his partner planned to or wanted to.

Many treatments exist for PE. These include prescription medicines, lifestyle and behavioral changes, or over-the-counter topical anesthetics such as lidocaine and benzocaine. 

OTC treatments are generally well-tolerated and pose few side effects, but topical anesthetics need to be applied moments before having sex for optimal results. On the other hand, implementing lifestyle and behavioral changes take lots of discipline, time, and great effort. Prescription medicines may help PE patients last longer without using topical anesthetics, but they may cause a wide array of side effects.

Consult a healthcare provider if you suspect you have PE so you can explore your treatment options.

 

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Lidocaine: what is it?

 

Lidocaine is a local anesthetic available in various formats, such as liquids, injectables, creams, sprays, or oral tablets. Lidocaine is used to numb a specific region of the body.

Lidocaine has been approved by the FDA since 1948, making it a safe and effective anesthetic that helps decrease sensations when applied to a certain area of the body.

Lidocaine is often used as a patch applied on painful areas of the body, to numb the mouth and throat, or as a topical cream or spray applied to the skin.

Lidocaine is available as an OTC or prescription medicine, depending on its strength and the purpose it is being used for.

Concerning PE, lidocaine is also used in products that help numb the penis slightly to prevent PE symptoms. This includes products like lidocaine sprays and creams or condoms formulated with a bit of the substance on the inside. They all can help to make you last longer in bed. 

 

Benzocaine: what is it?

 

Benzocaine, like lidocaine, is a local anesthetic that can be used as a topical anesthetic to numb parts of the body.

Benzocaine is used in a variety of formats: you’ll find them in analgesic preparations developed to reduce toothache or sore throat pain, such as lozenges or creams. It’s also found in products claiming to relieve itching and skin irritation from insect bites, exposure to poison ivy, or regular cuts and scrapes. 

Benzocaine is available in topical creams, sprays, wipes, and gels that help numb the penis, as well as condoms, just as lidocaine is. 

Lidocaine and benzocaine are both generally well-tolerated when used for anesthetic purposes, with only rare instances of side effects being recorded. However, some individuals may be allergic to benzocaine, making lidocaine an option for the latter group.

 

How do lidocaine and benzocaine help treat PE symptoms?

 

Lidocaine and benzocaine products used to treat PE are typically applied to the penis before engaging in sexual activity. This lowers penis sensitivity, helping PE patients last longer before ejaculating. Such products are designed to prevent overstimulation without totally numbing the penis to the point of not being able to feel any sensation.

Both lidocaine and benzocaine products work as soon as several minutes after being applied to the penis, with effects lasting for up to an hour or two.

The Journal of Urology published a small 2017 study showing the effectiveness of benzocaine wipes in improving premature ejaculation symptoms, with participants reporting longer durations of intercourse, reduced performance anxiety, improved ejaculation control, and greater sexual satisfaction as opposed to a group that only took a placebo.

 

Are lidocaine and benzocaine safe to use?

 

Topical anesthetics like lidocaine and benzocaine are generally safe to take, but they should be used as directed. The FDA issued a statement about the potential side effects of using topical anesthetics improperly, where two women died after using lidocaine after having undergone laser hair removal procedures – one of the cases where lidocaine should never be used. 

The FDA issued another warning in 2018 after several individuals developed methemoglobinemia after using OTC benzocaine. Methemoglobinemia is a potentially life-threatening side effect where the blood turns a bluish hue due to the inability of the blood to deliver oxygen to the rest of the body’s tissues.

Always make sure to use lidocaine and benzocaine as needed and as instructed, use the lowest strength and amount of medicine available, apply sparingly only in the affected area, and do not apply it directly on broken or irritated skin. Do not cover the area with dressing or apply heat to the skin after using topical anesthetics. 

If you experience skin discoloration, fatigue, confusion, light-headedness, or headaches, or if your heart rate noticeably increases, seek immediate medical attention.

 

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Is there anything else I can do to prevent PE?

 

Thinking twice about using topical anesthetics to treat your PE? There are several solutions you can talk to your healthcare professional about. However, do know that they might take longer to work. Talk to your doctor if you have any questions about PE and how to treat it.

 

Are there medicines you can take for PE?

Currently, there isn’t any FDA-approved prescription specifically treating PE. However, certain medicines have been prescribed off-label by doctors to treat their PE patients with reasonable success.

These include antidepressants called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), such as sertraline. One of the side effects of SSRIs is delayed ejaculation, making them an option for individuals who aren’t keen on topical anesthetics. 

On the other hand, PE can also be caused by erectile dysfunction. Therefore, medicines like sildenafil (Viagra), tadalafil (Cialis), and vardenafil (Levitra) can help ease ED symptoms by helping your brain relax and not feel like you have to hurry up during sexual activity.

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from your phone or computer,
with UltraPharmRX

  • 100% U.S. Licensed Medical Provider
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  • Discreet Shipping
  • Monthly Refills
  • No Waiting Rooms, No Appointments
  • Text Messaging Based Consultation *