Erectile dysfunction drugs linked to decreased mortality after heart attack

Users of phosphodiesterase-5 inhibitors were found to have lower risk of death or rehospitalisation after heart attack.

Molecular structure of PDE5 inhibitor

Erectile dysfunction is associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, but it is unknown what effect the condition has on outcomes following a heart attack.

To find out, researchers studied data on 43,145 men in Sweden aged under 80 years who were hospitalised for a first myocardial infarction.

Over a mean follow-up of 6.2 years, they found that the 7% of men who filed a prescription for an erectile dysfunction medication had a 33% reduced risk of mortality and 40% reduced risk of hospitalisation for heart failure. Further analysis showed that this reduction in mortality risk was only observed in users of phosphodiesterase-5 (PDE5) inhibitors and not alprostadil users.

Publishing their report in Heart
(online, 9 March 2017), the researchers say the findings should reassure doctors that they can prescribe PDE5 inhibitors to men after a heart attack, provided there are no contraindications.


[1] Andersson DP, Trolle Lagerros Y, Grotta A et al. Association between treatment for erectile dysfunction and death or cardiovascular outcomes after myocardial infarction. Heart 2017. doi: 10.1136/heartjnl-2016-310746

Last updated
Clinical Pharmacist, CP, May 2017, Vol 9, No 5;9(5):DOI:10.1211/PJ.2017.20202560

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