The results of a new study among men with erectile dysfunction (ED) suggest there is an association between use of multiple ED drugs and poorer men’s health. This finding held true regardless of the severity of erectile dysfunction among the study participants.
It has already been shown that erectile dysfunction is a significant indicator for poor overall health among men. Research also has shown us that men who have a severe case of ED do not respond well to phosphodiesterase type 5 inhibitors (PDE5Is), which are the drugs known as Viagra, Levitra, Cialis, Staxyn, and Stendra.
According to the Cleveland Clinic, more than half of all men will experience ED during their lifetime, affecting 40 percent of men age 40 and 70 percent of men age 70.
Taking multiple ED drugs: study
What has been unclear, however, is the association between taking multiple ED drugs and overall health status of users. Therefore, a team of Italian investigators conducted a study of 939 sexually active men with erectile dysfunction who were seeking help for ED at an outpatient clinic.
All of the men were assessed using the Charlson Comorbidity Index (CCI), which considers the following health conditions: AIDS, liver disease, diabetes, malignancy, chronic kidney disease, congestive heart failure, myocardial infarction, peripheral vascular disease, stroke or TIA, COPD, dementia, hemiplegia, connective tissue disease, and peptic ulcer disease. The men also were classified as either having taken PDE5Is or not in the past and also completed the International Index of Erectile Function (IIEF) questionnaire.
Once all of the data were accumulated, here were the findings:
- 35% (328 men) had taken PDE5Is in the past: 52% (172) had been prescribed one drug, 30% (99) had taken two, and 17% (57) had taken three different medications
- Men who had taken ED drugs and those who had not were similar in terms of age, severity of ED at baseline, and body mass index
- Men who had taken any PDE5Is had a higher CCI score than men who had never taken the drugs
The investigators concluded that the number of ED drugs prescribed was an independent predictor of a higher burden of cormorbidities among the study participants, regardless of the severity of their ED, which was evident by the higher CCI scores among these men. Therefore, clinicians should be aware of the association between use of multiple ED drugs and poorer men’s health.
Oreggia D et al. Multiple PDE5Is use as a marker of decreased overall men’s health: a real-life study. PLoS One 2018 Aug 10; 13(8):e0201601