Therapeutics and Drugs Brief

Sildenafil for Treatment of Erectile Dysfunction in Men with Diabetes

Source: Rendell MS, et al. JAMA 1999;281:421-426.

Sildenafil has an established role in the approximately 50% of 40- to 70-year-old men who suffer erectile dysfunction (ED). ED is substantially more common and occurs at a younger age in diabetic men than in the general population. The current randomized, double-blind study specifically examined the role of sildenafil in middle-aged diabetic men (n = 268) with ED.

Patients received 25 mg, 50 mg, or 100 mg of sildenafil or placebo, depending upon efficacy and adverse effect profile, for 85 days. Maintenance dose for 93% of patients receiving an active drug was 100 mg; no patient in this study responded adequately to 25 mg.

Use of sildenafil almost doubled the frequency of adequate erections and intercourse experiences, as well as substantially improving overall satisfaction with sex life. There was no change in frequency of sexual desire. Of these measured factors, placebo only affected overall satisfaction with sex life, though erection rigidity and frequency of satisfactory intercourse did not change. Anticipated side effects of sildenafil (headache and dyspepsia) were proportionally frequent in this population as in previous study populations, but no patient discontinued treatment due to an adverse drug effect. Rendell and colleagues conclude that sildenafil is an efficacious, well-tolerated treatment for ED in diabetic patients.

The Therapeutics and Drugs Brief was written by Louis Kuritzky, MD, Courtesy Clinical Assistant Professor, University of Florida, Gainesville.


A reader points out an important omission in the March 1999 issue article on Celebrex. From the package insert: People who have ever had asthma, hives, or allergic-type reactions after taking aspirin or other NSAIDs should also not use celecoxib.