Priligy, touted as the world's first drug to treat premature ejaculation, sold out just one month after its launch in Singapore.
The first batch of pills was made available in March and was meant to last three months.
But it was cleared out last month as demand was much higher than expected, said a spokesman for American-based manufacturer Janssen, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson.
However, the company declined to reveal the exact number of pills sold.
The pills, which come in packs of three and are prescription-only, have since been restocked. Patients are advised to take one pill one to three hours before sex, and no more than one a day.
Priligy works by increasing levels of serotonin, a chemical involved in controlling ejaculation.
While it is said to triple the time a man can sustain an erection, it does not cure premature ejaculation.
A pack goes for between S$80 ($187) and S$90 (RM210), which means each pill costs as much as S$30 (RM70). This is comparable to other established sexual enhancement drugs like Viagra, which treats erectile dysfunction.
Doctors say the brisk sales may indicate how more men are willing to seek help for the embarrassing problem of premature ejaculation, caused by various factors including anxiety.
According to a survey of more than 240 men in October last year, as many as one in three Singaporean men may suffer from this condition.
But the survey, conducted by doctors in Singapore, also revealed that 77 per cent of men have never discussed their sexual health with a doctor.
Urologist Chin Chong Min, who practises at Mount Elizabeth Medical Centre, said a 'big pool of sufferers' are now coming forward to try the pill as "they haven't found anything that works". He drew parallels with the busy period when Viagra first came to Singapore about 10 years ago.
Although Priligy has not sparked such a frenzy, it has been flying off the shelves, said Gleneagles Hospital urology centre head Peter Lim, president of the Society of Men's Health (Singapore). He has treated 30 to 40 sufferers with the pills: "So far, I have not had any complaints from patients - in fact, they usually come back for more."
Both doctors said the pills were effective for most patients, most of whom did not complain about side effects like nausea and headaches.
However, several doctors are not stocking the pills just yet. Said Dr Sam Peh at Mount Elizabeth Medical Centre: "There are other drugs around that are just as effective." One example is Zoloft, which treats anxiety and depression, but has also been used to treat premature ejaculation. A pill costs S$5 (RM117) to S$6 (14).
Source: The Straits Times/ANN
Published May 27 2011