- Patients who had heart attacks often suffer from impotence/erectile dysfunction
- Drugs for erectile dysfunction such as sildenafil, tadalafil and vardenafil can lower the blood pressure in heart disease patients who take nitrates
- Erectile dysfunction drugs may be safe and even beneficial in heart attack patients
Treatment with the erectile dysfunction drugs like sildenafil, tadalafil and vardenafil may reduce the risk of death or hospitalization following a heart attack. A study indicating the same was published in the BMJ Heart and is being presented at the American College of Cardiology's 66th Annual Scientific Session in Washington.
Impotence or erectile dysfunction can have a major psychological impact on the patient. The introduction of the drug sildenafil was a major breakthrough in its treatment. Sildenafil, tadalafil and vardenafil belong to a group of drugs called phosphodiesterase-5 (PDE5) inhibitors. They relax blood vessels and increase blood supply to the penis, resulting in an erection. The pills have the ability to reduce blood pressure excessively and their use is not advised in heart patients who take nitrates like isosorbide nitrate for angina or heart attack.
- Those who received PDE5 inhibitors were 38% less likely to die as compared to those taking alprostadil or no erectile dysfunction drugs
- The benefit was greater in those who filled more prescriptions for PDE5 inhibitors
- Men who took either PDE5 inhibitors or alprostadil were 40 percent less likely to undergo hospitalization for heart failure as compared to those who did not take any medication for erectile dysfunction
- The intake of these medications did not affect the risk of suffering from another heart attack or undergoing a procedure like cardiac bypass or angiography
The study authors, however, admit to some limitations to the study, which includes:
- It is possible that those who wanted treatment for erectile dysfunction were healthier and therefore had lesser mortality
- The better heart health in those taking erectile dysfunction drugs could be due to a more active sex life, rather than due to the medications
- Various factors like marital status and household income were not taken into consideration, which could affect the outcome of the study
- "Association between Erectile Dysfunction and Death or Cardiovascular Outcomes after Myocardial Infarction," on Friday, March 17, at 1:30 p.m. ET at Poster Hall C at the American College of Cardiology's 66th Annual Scientific Session in Washington.
- Andersson DP, Lagerros YT, Grotta A, Bellocco R, Lehtihet M, Holzmann MJ. Association between treatment for erectile dysfunction and death or cardiovascular outcomes after myocardial infarction.
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Dr. Simi Paknikar. (2017, March 13). Impotence Drugs may be Safe in Heart Patients. Medindia. Retrieved on Sep 25, 2022 from https://www.medindia.net/news/healthinfocus/impotence-drugs-may-be-safe-in-heart-patients-168549-1.htm.
Dr. Simi Paknikar. "Impotence Drugs may be Safe in Heart Patients". Medindia. Sep 25, 2022. <https://www.medindia.net/news/healthinfocus/impotence-drugs-may-be-safe-in-heart-patients-168549-1.htm>.
Dr. Simi Paknikar. "Impotence Drugs may be Safe in Heart Patients". Medindia. https://www.medindia.net/news/healthinfocus/impotence-drugs-may-be-safe-in-heart-patients-168549-1.htm. (accessed Sep 25, 2022).
Dr. Simi Paknikar. 2021. Impotence Drugs may be Safe in Heart Patients. Medindia, viewed Sep 25, 2022, https://www.medindia.net/news/healthinfocus/impotence-drugs-may-be-safe-in-heart-patients-168549-1.htm.