Levitra a Day May Keep the Doctor Away
Erectile dysfunction drugs may lower a man's risk of heart disease and of noncancer prostate symptoms.
May 24, 2005 -- Men now have two new reasons to take erection-enhancing
drugs every day.
Those reasons: The drugs may lower a man's risk of heart disease and of
noncancerous prostate symptoms. Instead of calling them erectile dysfunction
drugs, they might come to be called "men's health pills," suggest
urologist Frank Sommer, MD, PhD, and colleagues at University Medical Center in
This provocative speculation is based on short-term data from a small study.
Sommer reported the findings at this week's annual meeting of the American
Urological Association in San Antonio.
"Preliminary results are quite encouraging that [these drugs] could be
used for the treatment or prevention of benign prostatic symptoms, erectile
dysfunction, and cardiovascular disease," Sommer and colleagues write in
their presentation abstract. "These [drugs] seem to have the potential of
being a so-called men's health pill."
Daily Levitra vs. Levitra on Demand
Erectile dysfunction drugs work by inhibiting an enzyme called PDE-5. This
helps muscles relax and increases blood flow to the penis.
To see if these drugs might have other long-term health effects, Sommer and
colleagues studied men with benign prostate symptoms. Some of the men got
Levitra, an erectile dysfunction drug, once every day. Other men took Levitra
only when they desired sexual intercourse.
After three months, the men getting Levitra every day had:
- Just as good relief of erectile dysfunction as the Levitra-on-demand
- More improvement in tests for blood flow, which indicate healthy blood
- More improvement in prostate symptoms
But it's not yet time to start popping those little pills along with your
daily vitamins. The study findings, Sommer and colleagues note, are