RATIONALE: Chronic treatment with selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) can delay ejaculation in humans, but the extent of this effect differs between SSRIs. The involvement of 5-HT1A receptors is likely, since 5-HT1A receptor agonists accelerate ejaculation and chronic SSRI treatment is thought to desensitize 5-HT1A receptors. OBJECTIVES: This study was conducted to examine the effects of chronic pretreatment with the SSRIs fluvoxamine and paroxetine on the facilitation of ejaculation induced by the 5-HT1A receptor agonist 8-OH-DPAT. METHODS: Sexually experienced Wistar rats with normal ejaculatory behavior were treated for 22 days with vehicle, fluvoxamine (30 mg/kg/day), or paroxetine (10 or 20 mg/kg/day, p.o.). On day 22, rats received a challenge with saline or 8-OH-DPAT (0.4 mg/kg, s.c.). Sexual behavior was tested on days 1, 8, 15, and 22 of the SSRI-treatment. RESULTS: Treatment with both doses of paroxetine, but not fluvoxamine, delayed ejaculation. 8-OH-DPAT strongly accelerated ejaculation under vehicle conditions. Pretreatment with paroxetine reduced the effects of 8-OH-DPAT on ejaculation in a dose-dependent manner and more strongly than fluvoxamine. CONCLUSIONS: SSRIs affect 5-HT1A receptors involved in ejaculation. The degree to which this occurs, with paroxetine exerting a stronger effect than fluvoxamine, might determine the extent of SSRI-induced delayed ejaculation.