Statin Drugs Might Help Fight Impotence

For some, Lipitor plus Viagra worked better than Viagra alone, study found

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THURSDAY, March 2, 2006 (HealthDay News) -- Cholesterol-lowering statin drugs may help some men with erectile dysfunction (ED) who've had minimal results using Viagra, researchers report.

The University of Pennsylvania study included 12 men with ED who hadn't responded well to Viagra. They were given either high-dose Lipitor (a statin) or a placebo and then placed back on Viagra to see if there was any improvement in their ED.

"There did seem to be some improvement for those who received Lipitor versus the placebo," lead author Dr. Howard Herrmann, professor of medicine, said in a prepared statement.

The study, which appears in the March issue of the Journal of Sexual Medicine, was funded by Pfizer Inc., which makes both Lipitor and Viagra.

"These preliminary results show promise. They support the hypothesis that erectile dysfunction may be a sign of generalized vascular disorder characterized by endothelial dysfunction and that statin drugs may improve the endothelial dysfunction, even before altering the lipid profile," said Herrmann, who is director of the Interventional Cardiology and Cardiac Catheterization Laboratories at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. "But the results are preliminary and warrant further testing in a larger clinical trial," he added.

Endothelial dysfunction refers to abnormalities in the lining of blood vessels.

More information

The American Heart Association has more about erectile dysfunction.

SOURCE: University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, news release, Feb. 21, 2006


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