Elderly Men Can Use Viagra But Efficacy Declines with Age

Incidence of side effects similar to general population

MONDAY, July 16 (HealthDay News) -- Viagra (sildenafil) is effective in men over 60 years old, though the response rate decreases with age and particularly in men over 80, according to a report in the July issue of the British Journal of Urology. The incidence of side effects in older men is similar to that of younger men taking the drug.

John P. Mulhall, M.D., from New York Presbyterian Hospital in New York City, and colleagues examined the efficacy and tolerability of sildenafil in 167 men over 60 years old.

The researchers found that the men had a mean of two risk factors, such as hypertension and diabetes. Overall, 54 percent of the men responded to sildenafil, with a mean increase of 5.7 in their International Index of Erectile Function erectile function domain score, although the response rate decreased with age. The incidence of adverse events was similar among different age groups.

"From these data, sildenafil is an effective agent in elderly men, but had a lower efficacy rate with increasing age, especially in men aged over 80 years," Mulhall and colleagues conclude. "The incidence of side-effects was similar to that in the general population taking sildenafil, with no difference in adverse events among the different age groups."

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