The five brand name erectile dysfunction (ED) drugs in the phosphodiesterase 5 (PDE-5) inhibitors class are Viagra (sildenafil), Cialis (tadalafil), Levitra (vardenafil), Staxyn (vardenafil), and Stendra (avanafil).
Cialis is also prescribed sometimes when doctors see the signs and symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH).
Two other PDE-5 inhibitors, Revatio (sildenafil) and Adcirca (tadalafil), are prescribed for the treatment of pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH).
There have been a few medical journal articles published in 2017 regarding the safety issue of whether drugs like Viagra and Cialis might cause or promote skin cancer, especially melanoma, which can be fatal.
We start with “Relation of phosphodiesterase type 5 inhibitors and malignant melanoma: a meta-analysis and systematic review”, which was published online back in April 2017 and, later, in the July 11, 2017 edition of the Oncotarget journal. Here is an excerpt from the Abstract for this article:
Data on the association between using PDE5 inhibitors and malignant melanoma are conflicting…. Findings from this systematic review support that PDE5 inhibitor use is associated with increased risk of melanoma in ED patients, the result remains inclusive and warrants further study in the future.
Next is “Phosphodiesterase type 5 inhibitors and risk of melanoma: A meta-analysis”, published by the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology in September 2017. Here are selected parts of the Abstract from this medical journal article:
- Background: The association between phosphodiesterase type 5 (PDE5) inhibitors and melanoma risk is controversial.
- Objective: We quantify the association between use of PDE5 inhibitors and melanoma.
- Results: Five observational studies were included. Compared with PDE5 inhibitor nonuse, PDE5 inhibitor use was slightly but significantly associated with an increased risk for development of melanoma (OR, 1.12; 95% CI, 1.03-1.21)….
Last is “Update on the Safety of Phosphodiesterase Type 5 Inhibitors for the Treatment of Erectile Dysfunction”, made available online by Sexual Medicine Reviews journal on October 12, 2017.
From this article’s Abstract, here are two relevant points presented by these medical researchers:
- “There appears to be an association between [Phosphodiesterase type 5 inhibitors (PDE5Is)] use and melanoma but the absence of a mechanism of causation raises doubt that the association is cause and effect.”; and,
- “Evidence on increased rates of melanoma and prostate cancer recurrence is weak and controversial.”
Of course, we will continue to monitor the medical journals for additional research findings about malignant melanoma (perhaps more commonly called melanoma skin cancer) being linked to Viagra and Cialis as well as other PDE-5 drugs prescribed to treat erectile dysfunction (ED), benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), and pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH).[Read article in full at original source]
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