News You Can Use

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A new study published in The Journal of Sexual Medicine looked at the effects of taking erectile dysfunction (ED) medications on the risk of serious cardiovascular (CV) conditions, like heart attack and stroke. The medications studied are PDE5 inhibitors: sildenafil (Viagra), tadalafil (Cialis), vardenafil (Levitra), and avanafil (Stendra), all approved for the treatment of ED.

The group of men taking PDE5 inhibitors had significantly fewer serious CV events (by 13%), fewer deaths from CV events (by 39%), and fewer all-cause deaths (by 25%) compared to men not taking one of the medications. Findings in those with CV risk factors, like smoking or high cholesterol, were similar.

There wasn’t an independent measure of sexual activity—it may be that the sexual activity itself contributed to the positive study results.

April 24, 2024
New research suggests a beneficial link between erectile dysfunction medication and heart health (

Just as I suspected, the increased health is really due to Dr. Joe’s Cure for Everything instead of the meds.

[I’m mostly kidding.]

My recommendation is to do both, just to make sure.


7 thoughts on “News You Can Use

  1. From what I understand, the little blue pill was originally intended as a CV medications. So this would make sense….

    But I’m with you – do both, just to be sure.

  2. Impotence is generally a result of lack of blood flow in the small capillaries that feed the tissue of the male member…PDE5 inhibitors improve that blood flow allowing for more blood therefore better function. It’s logical to think that effect will happen in other parts of the body including the heart and brain where capillary starvation causes tissue damage and death.

  3. On the other hand, correlation does not equal causation.

    My understanding is that many doctors will refuse to prescribe ED medications to men who are known to them to have heart problems or circulatory system problems. This would then tend to select for a group of men with lower incidences of those pre-existing medical issues, leading to the (potentially misleading) findings.

    I haven’t bothered to read the study, but unless it corrected for this user-selection bias it is ultimately meaningless.

    • PDE5 inhibitors are not authorized for use by the FDA for anything but ED. Using it for other purposes is an “off the book” prescription and that exposes a physician to increased malpractice liability. THAT is why many refuse to prescribe it for other purposes. At least HALF of everything that happens in the practice of medicine is done not for medical/scientific reasons but from fear of lawsuits. It’s a major reason for healthcare costs being astronomical.

      • I think the term is “off label” (not “off the book”) and from what I’ve read it is a perfectly normal and widely used medical practice, done with many different medications.

  4. ED drugs have also been linked to a fairly uncommon eye disease called Non-Arteritic Anterior Ischemic Optical Neuropathy. Nobody knows the exact cause, though some contributing factors have been identified. NA-AION is basically a stroke of the optic nerve. The nerve and area of the surrounding optic disc are deprived of blood, begin to swell, which cuts off more blood, and parts of the nerve and retina die, resulting in blindness in the affected parts. I have it in both eyes, affecting my lower peripheral vision. ED drugs are thought to contribute to low blood pressure, which might be enough to trigger the event causing the affliction. I don’t take ED drugs, but had an attack in each eye, a few years apart. One of the things a doctor will ask if you’re getting a prescription is if you’ve had NA-AION.

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