A urologist has expressed his support for the use of drugs for treating sexual dysfunction to treat enlarged prostrate for people who have both conditions.
The US government approved the use of such drugs to treat benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), or enlarged prostrate, last year, with the EU following suit late last month.
Dosage recommendations in both the US and the EU were 5mg per day.
According to Chen Yu (陳煜), director of Linkou Chang Gung Memorial Hospital’s urology division, research found that not only do drugs used for treating erectile dysfunction (ED) have the effect of relaxing the corpora cavernosum penis to help achieve erection, but they also help relax the smooth muscle tissue in the urinary bladder and the urethra, making it easier for people with BPH to urinate.
Taking ED drugs on a daily basis helps maintain urinary health and increase sexual performance, Chen said.
However, although all three of the approved ED drugs — sildenafil (Viagra) in 1998, vardenafil (Levitra) in 2003 and tadalafil (Cialis) in 2003 — had the same effects, only Cialis has passed the tests for treating benign prostatic hyplerplasia and was approved last year in the US.
Although Cialis improves the urinary function of people with BPH, it is not effective in shrinking the size of the prostrate, Chen said.
He added that patients with a history of heart attacks and on medication with nitrates should avoid using the drug.
Wang Chi-chieh (王起杰), a visiting staff doctor at Kaohsiung Municipal Hsiao Kang Hospital’s urology division, said that using ED drugs to treat enlarged prostrates was not as effective as using other medication used to treat the same condition.
Patients with urinary issues because of benign prostatic hyperplasia should visit a doctor to get a diagnosis as well as prescribed medication, Wang said.