Statins may help improve erectile dysfunction in some men

March 2, 2006

Preliminary results of a small study show that high-dose statin therapy may help improve erectile dysfunction in men who had shown minimal reaction to sildenafil citrate (Viagra).

Preliminary results of a small study show that high-dose statin therapy may help improve erectile dysfunction in men who had shown minimal reaction to sildenafil citrate (Viagra).

The double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial, conducted at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia, reviewed 12 patients who had not responded well to sildenafil. These patients received either high-dose atorvastatin (Lipitor) or placebo. The team then rechallenged the patients with sildenafil and asked if their ED had improved.

“There seemed to be some improvement for those who received Lipitor versus the placebo,” said lead author Howard Herrmann, MD. “We theorized that if you could make the endothelium healthier through use of statins-so that there is more nitric oxide available-you would improve the endothelial dysfunction, and Viagra would work better for the patient.”

The team acknowledged that the results are preliminary and warrant further testing in a larger clinical trial. Results were published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine (2006; 3:303-8).