ED increases with use of multiple medications

December 1, 2011

The use of multiple medications is associated with increased severity of erectile dysfunction, say researchers from Kaiser Permanente Los Angeles Medical Center.

The use of multiple medications is associated with increased severity of erectile dysfunction, say researchers from Kaiser Permanente Los Angeles Medical Center.

The study was conducted as part of the California Men’s Health Study, a multiethnic cohort of men ages 46 to 69 years who are members of Kaiser Permanente in California. The authors looked at men who were taking more than three medications between 2002 and 2003.

Of the men included in the study, 29% reported moderate or severe ED. Across all age groups, ED was more prevalent as the number of medications increased. In men taking three to five, six to nine, and more than 10 medications, the percentage of men reporting moderate ED was 19.7%, 25.5%, and 30.9%, respectively (p

In addition to the number of medications, ED was associated with older age, higher body mass index, diabetes, high cholesterol, hypertension, depression, and being a current or past smoker. After taking these conditions into account, the relationship between multiple medications and ED persisted.

"Clinically, the findings from this study suggest that a crucial step in the evaluation of ED would be to review the current medications the patient is taking and their potential side effects," said lead author Diana C. Londoño, MD. "When appropriate, decreases or changes in the amount of or type of medication should be considered."

The most common medications associated with ED included antihypertensive agents, psychogenic medications, and any medication that can interfere with testosterone pathways.

The authors found that 57% of men in the study took more than three medications. Use of multiple medications was the greatest among older age groups, with 53% of men ages 50 to 59 years taking at least three medications and 66% of men ages 60 to 70 taking at least three medications.Results from the study were published online in BJU International (Nov. 15, 2011).

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