From: Reuters
Published November 13, 2007 04:44 PM

Cialis effective for men with spinal cord injury

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - A long-acting drug for erectile dysfunction is safe and effective for men with spinal cord injuries who have difficulty achieving erections, a new study shows.

A total of 186 men were randomly assigned to receive treatment with Cialis or placebo for 12 weeks. The study was completed by 129 in the treatment group and by 34 in the placebo group. The subjects, who were an average of 38 years old, had experienced erectile dysfunction for six months or longer. They were instructed to take the drug when they planned to have sex.

Nearly 85 percent of men given Cialis (know generically as tadalafil) said the drug improved their erections compared with19.5 percent of men given placebo. Another 78.5 percent said it improved their ability to engage in sexual activity versus just 14.6 percent of those on placebo. Specifically, the men on the active drug reported significantly more successful penetration and intercourse attempts. The most common side effects were headache and urinary tract infection.

"On-demand treatment with tadalafil...may help improve the sex lives of patients with erectile dysfunction and spinal cord injury and their partners," Dr. Francois Giuliano of Raymond Poincare Hospital, Garches, France and colleagues conclude in the study, published in the Archives of Neurology.

Just one in four men with a spinal cord injury can achieve erections adequate for intercourse on their own, the researchers point out. Cialis, which like Levitra and Viagra belongs to the class of drugs known as oral phosphodiesterase 5 inhibitors that are the first-line treatment for erectile dysfunction, has shown promise in treating the condition in men with spinal cord injury.

Tadalafil is effective for a longer period of time than Viagra and Levitra, and unlike the shorter-acting drugs, it does not interact with fatty foods, Giuliano and colleagues note.

This may offer men with spinal cord injury and their partners a "more natural sexual experience," they add. "Hence, tadalafil may be the agent of choice for spinal cord injury patients who do not want to plan their sexual activity around medication dosing," the researchers conclude.

SOURCE: Archives of Neurology, November 2007.

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