Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Recreational Use Of An Erectile Dysfunction Drug Can Be Risky For Some

Date:
May 26, 2005
Source:
Elsevier Health Sciences
Summary:
Although the drugs used to treat Erectile Dysfunction, Sildenafil (Viagra), Tadalafil (Cialis) and Vardenafil (Levitra), have generally been proven safe, recreational use of these drugs is associated with higher risks of sexually-transmitted diseases (STD's), including HIV. In a study in the current issue of The American Journal of Medicine, researchers from the San Francisco Department of Public Health evaluated 14 studies of Sildenafil use among men who have sex with men (MSM).

Although the drugs used to treat Erectile Dysfunction, Sildenafil (Viagra), Tadalafil (Cialis) and Vardenafil (Levitra), have generally been proven safe, recreational use of these drugs is associated with higher risks of sexually-transmitted diseases (STD's), including HIV. In a study in the current issue of The American Journal of Medicine, researchers from the San Francisco Department of Public Health evaluated 14 studies of Sildenafil use among men who have sex with men (MSM).

Sildenafil users engaged in unprotected sex with partners of unknown HIV status from twice as often to almost six times as often as non-users. HIV-positive MSM were almost twice as likely to be diagnosed with an STD if they were also Sildenafil users and the newly HIV infected were 2.5 times as likely to be users.

Further complicating the situation, 54% of users mixed Sildenafil with other drugs to enhance the sexual experience. One study reported that 36% of all Sildenafil users combined its use with other drugs, including methamphetamines (23%), ecstasy (18%), poppers (15%), ketamine (11%), and GHB (8%). A study among MSM seeking STD clinic services in San Francisco found Sildenafil to be used concurrently with ecstasy (43%), methamphetamines (28%), and amyl nitrate (15%).

Writing in the article, Jeffrey D. Klausner, MD, MPH, suggests that "Focused action is needed to target this ongoing public health problem. Although the current evidence of association exists only for Sildenafil, likely due to the relatively recent approval of Tadalafil and Vardenafil, the needed action should focus on all three phosphodiesterase inhibitors (PDIs), as the observed associations with Sildenafil use most likely would occur with drugs of identical nature. The labeling for PDIs should be modified to warn users of an increased risk for STDs, including HIV infection. Educational programs, particularly among physicians, MSM, and methamphetamine users, should be implemented to increase awareness as to the use of these medications and their association with STDs, including HIV infection."

In an accompanying editorial, Joseph S. Alpert, MD, University of Arizona Health Sciences Center, Tucson, is concerned about the public health implications when Sildenafil and its relatives are abused or used recreationally with illegal drugs. He points to a recent article published in The Lancet in which investigators from Rockefeller University reported on a patient who presented with a new strain of HIV virus that was considerably more virulent and progressed more rapidly to AIDS than any HIV virus previously found. Dr Alpert writes that "This patient had been abusing both Sildenafil and methamphetamine. The question that immediately leaped to mind was: What effect did the combined abuse of these drugs have on the patient? Could this have resulted in the development of the highly virulent HIV mutant? Does this combination drug abuse increase the likelihood of STD transmission and/or the propensity for unsafe sex?" Dr. Alpert also questions whether the risk of STD and unsafe sex is also increased in male heterosexual patients who use Sildenafil. He points to the need for increased physician and patient education as well as further exploration of the multiple implications surrounding abuse of Sildenafil.

###

The study is reported in "Sildenafil Use, Sexual Risk Behavior, and Risk for Sexually Transmitted Diseases, including HIV Infection: a Review" by Sean Swearingen, BA and Jeffrey D. Klausner, MD, MPH. It appears with the editorial, "Viagra: The Risks of Recreational Use" by Joseph S. Alpert, MD, in The American Journal of Medicine, Volume 118, Number 6, published by Elsevier.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Elsevier Health Sciences. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Elsevier Health Sciences. "Recreational Use Of An Erectile Dysfunction Drug Can Be Risky For Some." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 26 May 2005. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/05/050526093144.htm>.
Elsevier Health Sciences. (2005, May 26). Recreational Use Of An Erectile Dysfunction Drug Can Be Risky For Some. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 17, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/05/050526093144.htm
Elsevier Health Sciences. "Recreational Use Of An Erectile Dysfunction Drug Can Be Risky For Some." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/05/050526093144.htm (accessed April 17, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) A new study conducted by researchers at Northwestern and Harvard suggests even casual marijuana use can alter your brain. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Thousands Of Vials Of SARS Virus Go Missing

Thousands Of Vials Of SARS Virus Go Missing

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) A research institute in Paris somehow misplaced more than 2,000 vials of the deadly SARS virus. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Formerly Conjoined Twins Released From Dallas Hospital

Formerly Conjoined Twins Released From Dallas Hospital

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) Conjoined twins Emmett and Owen Ezell were separated by doctors in August. Now, nearly nine months later, they're being released from the hospital. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Outbreak Now Linked To 121 Deaths

Ebola Outbreak Now Linked To 121 Deaths

Newsy (Apr. 15, 2014) The ebola virus outbreak in West Africa is now linked to 121 deaths. Health officials fear the virus will continue to spread in urban areas. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins