The active ingredient in sprays for erectile dysfunction are a range of pharmaceutical drugs developed for other purposes which have been found to have sexual side effects that are then capitalised on by pharmaceutical marketing companies.

All of these sprays work on the central nervous system stimulating brain receptors and hormones like dopamine. They are designed for premature ejaculation rather than other types of erectile dysfunction, because they reduce penile response but do not promote erections.

Drugs Used in Delaying Sprays
Commonly antidepressants like clomipramine are used, but also apomorphine, a drug used to treat Parkinson’s Disease, and pain killers like tramadol, another morphine derivative, are also sometimes used in nasal sprays. A local anaesthetic, lidocaine, is used in a delaying spray which is applied directly to the penis rather than up the nose.

  • Clomipramine is a type of antidepressant known as an SSRI, which are known to have negative side effects like reduced sex drive and delayed ejaculation in many men. They are effective for premature ejaculation because they de-sensitise penile response in men who respond too quickly; for men who do not have that problem they can have unwanted side effects.
  • Apomorphine in a sub lingual form – a lozenge placed under the tongue, was sold under the brand name Uprima but was discontinued in Europe after it was found to be limited in its effectiveness and caused side effects like nausea, vomiting and fainting.
  • Pain killers like Tramodol or local anaesthetics like lidocaine are also used in delaying sprays delivered either nasally or directly to the penis. Doctors warn against using tramadol because of side effects including being habit forming.
  • Delaying sprays containing pain killers should be used with a condom because transference to the woman during sex can cause vaginal numbness.

Nasal delivery treatment for erectile dysfunction is not clinically proven and the drugs have side effects which can include abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, fainting, mental confusion, and dependency.

As they don’t work for general erectile dysfunction you are better off investigating other ED treatment options including oral drugs or herbal supplements.