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Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs may contribute to erectile dysfunction

Kathleen Blanchard's picture
NSAID's and erectile dysfunction linked

Researchers have found a link between use of commonly used nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID's) and erectile dysfunction. In a study of 80,966 men aged 45 to 69 years, investigators from Kaiser Permanente found men who took the pain medications 3 times a day for more than three months were 2.4 times more likely to have ED compared to men who don't take the drugs.

Risk of ED from NSAID's still found after adjusting for other factors

Erectile dysfunction was found to be 1.4 times more likely among NSAID users even after adjusting for other factors including ethnicity, age, race, heart disease, diabetes, cholesterol and body mass index.

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Steven J. Jacobsen, MD, PhD, an epidemiologist and director of research for Kaiser Permanente Southern California. "The next step is to dive a bit deeper to understand the underlying physiology of what might be happening with these drugs."

Jacobsen said the study result, published in The Journal of Urology, was counter intuitive because nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs protect from heart disease that is also a risk for erectile dysfunction.

The link between NSAID use and ED was found from electronic health records, pharmacy claims and questionnaires in an ethnically diverse group of participants.

He suggests men on erectile dysfunction drugs taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs speak with their physician about the possibility that the medications might be contributing to ED. Until more studies are available, there is no reason to stop taking NSAID's based on the current observations.