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Vision Safety of Erectile Dysfunction Drugs Examined

Daily use for six months not associated with any adverse visual changes compared to placebo

WEDNESDAY, April 15 (HealthDay News) -- Daily use of phosphodiesterase type 5 (PDE5) inhibitors in men with mild erectile dysfunction is not associated with abnormalities in electroretinography or visual function, according to research published in the April issue of the Archives of Ophthalmology.

William H. Cordell, M.D., of Eli Lilly and Company in Indianapolis, and colleagues randomly assigned 244 healthy men aged 30 to 65 with no baseline ophthalmologic abnormalities or risk factors to receive either 5 mg of tadalafil, 50 mg of sildenafil, or placebo each day for six months.

The researchers found that there were no significant group differences in the primary outcome -- the average mean change for both eyes from baseline to endpoint in electroretinography b-wave amplitude -- or in most other electroretinography variables, visual function, intraocular pressure or anatomic assessments.

"Our study is notable for several reasons," the authors write. "It is, to our knowledge, the first to assess the visual safety of the PDE5 inhibitors tadalafil and sildenafil when administered once daily and over a prolonged period. Many studies of the visual safety of drugs in humans are conducted in research units using a single dose or multiple doses over a short time frame."

This study was supported by Eli Lilly and Company; several authors disclosed a financial relationship with Eli Lilly.

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