The last decade has seen remarkable advances in the management of erectile dysfunction (ED) with the advent of phosphodiesterase-5 (PDE-5i) inhibitors (sildenafil, tadalafil, vardenafil, lodenafil and udenafil).
The use of PDE-5i drugs has been associated with several adverse effects.
Other studies have focused exclusively on the use of PDE-5i in young adults (17,18), without exploring other medications used for enhancing erection.
EDD use was defined as having used any substance (PDE-5i, non-regulated drugs or others) in order to stimulate erection, with or without a medical prescription.
Among those who reported using EDD during the last year, 38% used sildenafil, 14% non-regulated PDE-5i, 12% other medications such as tonics and vitamins, 10% tadalafil, 6% vardenafil and 6% lodenafil.
Non-regulated PDE-5i were the second most used EED which may reflect their lower cost and ease of purchase without prescription, as well the lack of control of illegal trade of these products.
Also, use of other phosphodiesterase type 5 inhibitors (PDE-5i) drugs such as Cialis and Levitra can be harmful for the ear, but results on those drugs are inconclusive.
Study author Gerald McGwin, a professor of epidemiology in the UAB School of Public Health, said: "It appears from these findings that the current government warning regarding hearing loss and the use of PDE-5i medications is warranted.
n 2007, following the report of several case studies potentially linking PDE-5i use and sudden hearing loss, the Food and Drug Administration announced labeling changes for PDE-5i medications so that the risk of hearing problems was more prominently displayed.
Men who reported use of PDE-5i medications were twice as likely to also report hearing loss as were men who had not used the drugs.
PDE-5i drugs were originally designed to treat pulmonary hypertension and are now used extensively in the treatment of erectile dysfunction (ED).
McGwin said: "PDE-5i medications work in ED patients by their ability to increase blood flow to certain tissues in the body.