According to a study, men who used erectile dysfunction drugs for years after having a heart attack had a significantly lower risk of being hospitalized or dying from a heart failure than men had not used these drugs.
Researchers looked at more than 43,000 men for over three years. They found that men who were prescribed phosphodiesterase-5 (PDE5) inhibitors, the type of erectile dysfunction drugs, sold under the brand names Viagra, Cialis, Levitra, and others, after their first heart attack, were less likely to die from a cardiovascular cause.
The lead author of the study said that it is probably safe and effective to use erectile dysfunction drugs if men have an active sexual life after having a heart attack. In fact, the author explained that erectile dysfunction treatment is quite beneficial when it comes to prognosis and having a healthy love life, decreasing the risk of early death.
The researchers analyzed the data of men above 80 years who were hospitalized for a heart attack for the first time from 2007 to 2013. They tracked their prescription for erectile dysfunction drugs prescribed by their doctors.
After maneuvering for cardiovascular risk factors, including heart, failure, stroke, and diabetes, men who took erectile dysfunction drugs were found to be less likely to die than those who took alprostadil injection or no ED drugs. So, using those drugs appeared to be beneficial in men with cardiovascular disease.
Although the findings provide evidence that erectile dysfunction drug may help improve heart health, there has been no direct cause and effect, as noted by the researchers. One possibility is using erectile dysfunction drugs shows that men will have a more active sexual life, which could,in turn, be a marker of a healthy heart and overall lifestyle.
The researchers explained that if a man uses erectile dysfunction drugs after a heart attack with no specific contraindications for the drug, clinicians could feel safe about prescribing them, of course, after ruling out all the potential contraindications.
The researchers also looked at the risk of another heart attack or any kind of cardiac procedure (such as angioplasty or coronary artery bypass). They found that the use of erectile dysfunction drugs did not have an effect on those outcomes.
However, there were a few limitations to the study. For instance, the study did not consider the effects of untreated ED or the effects of having an active love life without taking erectile dysfunction drugs. It also did not mention which erectile dysfunction drug helped, either sildenafil, vardenafil, tadalafil, or avanafil. They have been pursuing a separate analysis for men with type 1 and 2 diabetes.
Although the study found that ED drugs are possibly safe and beneficial for men after having a heart attack, it is imperative to check with your doctor before using any drug, especially if you have a history of a heart attack.