Men who "peak too early" are being sought by the NHS to undergo trials of a new application for Botox, the drug manufactured from one of the most dangerous toxins on earth, Botulinum.
The drug was first used as a treatment for people with crossed eyes and more recently in cosmetic surgery, but now researchers at Tulane University in New Orleans have discovered that male rats injected with Botox last much longer when copulating – potentially pointing the way to a new treatment for human sufferers of premature ejaculation (PE).
The NHS defines premature ejaculation as regularly ejaculating within one minute. In comparison, a study of 500 couples in five countries found the average length of intercourse was five and a half minutes. At least one in three men suffer from the condition and the NHS believes this is an under-estimate as most men are reluctant to admit they have a "problem".
Causes of premature ejaculation include stress, relationship problems, anxiety, previous traumatic sexual experiences, depression and medical conditions or medicines. Most sufferers are younger men. Current treatments include taking antidepressants such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) or undergoing sex therapy.
Now the NHS is seeking 50 monogamous couples in London and Belfast to undergo a two-year trial conducted by Allergan, which manufactures Botox. Half of the participants will be given the drug by injection into a muscle in their genitalia, the other half a placebo. The drug would be administered by medics familiar with the drug and treatments may need repeating.
Although now widely used to smooth wrinkles in the face, Botox comes from Botulinum, one of the most lethal toxins known to man, which is fatal if inhaled or injected. In 2012 the NHS began using the drug to treat chronic migraine – now, it may have a new use for when you don't have a headache.