ED Drugs May Treat Urinary Problems
Researchers Say Erectile Dysfunction and Some Urinary Symptoms May Be Linked
Cialis Study continued...
He especially wanted to see if they were as likely to do well if their
urinary problems were severe as opposed to moderate. "They are equally
statistically likely to respond to a dose of Cialis," he says.
The study was funded by Lilly, which is the maker of Cialis.
In another study, 223 men aged 45 to 64 who had urinary symptoms due to an
enlarged prostate were assigned either to a group given 10 milligrams of Levitra twice daily for eight weeks or a placebo for
the same time period.
Compared with placebo, treatment with the ED drug significantly improved the
men's quality-of- life scores and their reports of urinary obstruction and
irritation, says Boris Schlenker, MD, a urologist at
Ludwig-Maxmillians-Universitaet Hospital in Munich, Germany, who presented the
data. Erectile function improved in those who took the ED drug.
"Levitra is a promising new drug for men with lower urinary tract symptoms,
but we need long-term data on how it might affect the progression of the
disease," he says.
The Viagra Study
In a third study, McVary assigned 369 men aged 45 and up who had both
erectile dysfunction and lower urinary tract symptoms to take either 50
milligrams of Viagra every night, 50 milligrams of Viagra an hour before
planned sexual activity, or to take a placebo. The dose increased to 100
milligrams after two weeks.
When he evaluated their erectile function and urinary symptoms, he found 73%
of the men with severe symptoms improved to having mild or moderate symptoms at
the end of the study.
"The changes in prostate symptom scores were dramatic," he says. "They
compete with alpha blockers." Alpha blockers are one type of drug commonly
prescribed to treat urinary symptoms associated with an enlarged prostate. The
more severe the urinary symptoms, the greater the relief, he says.
The study was funded by Pfizer, which is the maker of Viagra.
"This really is cutting-edge," says Gittelman.
The experts aren't sure if the ED drugs will eventually supplement or
replace drugs used for urinary problems associated with an enlarged prostate,
or if new formulations might be developed to deal with both conditions.
Some men on the ED drugs did report side effects, says Schlenker, with the
most common in his study being headache.
It's not known exactly why the ED drugs also help the urinary symptoms,
McVary says. By increasing blood flow to the pelvic area, the ED drugs may help
relax the bladder enough to relieve the urinary problems.