Men with big penises may have to cut back on sex this month after Pharmac announced prescriptions of certain brands of large condoms would be rationed.

The government drug-buying agency issued a note to GPs that Durex had pulled its 56mm Confidence large condoms out of the New Zealand market.

The withdrawal had led to a run on other condoms. Gold Knight brand condoms in the same size are now out of stock.

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However, Durex said it had not withdrawn the large Confidence brand from the market - it was merely a "short-term supply issue".

The 56mm Extra Safe condoms - which are thicker - were still available through Pharmac, Durex said, and other condoms were also still available over the counter in supermarkets and pharmacies.

In its note to GPs, Pharmac said the withdrawal had impacted the stock levels of all brands of condoms.

"Pharmac funds five other types of condoms, in varying sizes, which remain available. We are working with Gold Knight, another condom supplier, to get more stock of the 56mm size into New Zealand.

"To meet the increased demand they are manufacturing extra product which is expected to arrive in May. They are also manufacturing additional quantities of Shield Blue (53mm)."

Meanwhile, pharmacies have been asked to ration their dispensing of all condoms, offering a maximum of 72 at a time.

"We are also asking prescribers to not specify a brand of condom on prescriptions, and to ensure that the right size of condom is being prescribed to their patients."

New stocks of Durex Extra Safe condoms are expected to arrive in NZ at the end of April, Durex said.

Gold Knight is also manufacturing extra supplies of large condoms and expects them to arrive at the end of April, according to Pharmac.

"Durex sincerely regrets any inconvenience to its consumers and pharmacies," a spokeswoman for Reckitt Benckiser, which makes Durex, said.

"Durex takes its social responsibility very seriously and is making every effort to expedite supply of Durex Confidence as soon as possible."