Q: My husband and I have been married for 14 years and in all that time we have not figured out how to solve an important problem. In my view, he is oversexed. He could make love almost every other night, but I prefer three or four times a month.
The real problem is that he has trouble controlling his excitement. This is very frustrating for me and one reason I am not as interested in sex as he is.
I have heard that Prozac can slow a man down, which would be desirable. Is this true? Would a doctor prescribe Prozac for this purpose?
A: The Food and Drug Administration has approved Prozac (fluoxetine) for treatment of depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder and bulimia. Although it has never been given a green light for premature ejaculation, some urologists do prescribe it for this problem.
Several preliminary studies have shown that anti-depressants such as Prozac, Paxil and Zoloft may help delay orgasm and improve partner satisfaction. For some men, this could be a blessing, but many people complain that these drugs may make it difficult to reach climax.
Ask your husband to discuss this issue with his doctor. Sex counseling as well as, or instead of, a prescription may be helpful for premature ejaculation.
Q: I have been taking anti-inflammatory pills for about 12 years for back pain, osteoarthritis, tendinitis and bursitis. At present I take Lodine twice a day, and exercise at my local fitness center.
I've taken just about every NSAID in the book. Some have torn my stomach up and others don't work all that well. I take Carafate to protect my stomach from Lodine. In the past I have also had trouble with bad bruising, easy bleeding and fatigue. The fatigue factor is most discouraging.
Are there any other drugs in the pipeline? If so, when should we look for them?
A: Drug companies are rushing to develop a whole new type of arthritis medicine called COX-2 blockers. They are supposed to ease inflammation without hurting the digestive tract as current NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) do. One such drug, called meloxicam, is already available in Europe, but several years may go by before the FDA approves it or any of these compounds in the United States.
In their column, Joe and Teresa Graedon answer letters from readers. Write to them at Graedon's People's Pharmacy, P.O. Box 52027, Durham, N.C. 27717-2027, or e-mail to PHARMACY@mindspring.com.