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      Sildenafil in the Cardiologist’s Office: Patients’ Attitudes and Physicians’ Practices toward Discussions about Sexual Functioning

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          Abstract

          Sildenafil is a medication increasingly prescribed to improve sexual function in patients who have erectile dysfunction. Because a major contraindication to the use of sildenafil is a history of coronary disease and the concomitant use of nitrates, it becomes increasingly important for cardiologists to prescribe this medication. We evaluated the nature of discussions in all 70 patients for whom sildenafil was prescribed in a cardiology practice between April and July 1998. We used a standardized questionnaire to determine the patients’ perspective on the sexual history and the extent to which they wanted their physicians to take a detailed history about sexuality. A separate chart review evaluated the nature of physicians’ discussions about sexual functioning before sildenafil was prescribed. Fifty-five of the 70 patients (79%) responded to the survey. The majority of patients (98%) felt that physicians should talk with patients about sexual functioning. However, only 73% of patients believed their doctor was comfortable talking with them about this subject. Sixty percent of patients reported that their doctor had ever talked with them about erectile function and only 15% had ever had a discussion with their doctors about specific difficulties during intercourse. Based on the results of the chart review, only 24% of the patients ever specifically discussed the used of sildenafil with their physician prior to the time that it was prescribed. The results of the study suggest that patients with coronary disease erectile dysfunction are comfortable talking with their physicians about sexual functioning, but these conversations occur infrequently.

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          Most cited references 6

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          Oral sildenafil in the treatment of erectile dysfunction. Sildenafil Study Group.

          Sildenafil is a potent inhibitor of cyclic guanosine monophosphate hydrolysis [corrected] in the corpus cavernosum and therefore increases the penile response to sexual stimulation. We evaluated the efficacy and safety of sildenafil, administered as needed in two sequential double-blind studies of men with erectile dysfunction of organic, psychogenic, and mixed causes. In a 24-week dose-response study, 532 men were treated with oral sildenafil (25, 50, or 100 mg) or placebo. In a 12-week, flexible dose-escalation study, 329 different men were treated with sildenafil or placebo, with dose escalation to 100 mg based on efficacy and tolerance. After this dose-escalation study, 225 of the 329 men entered a 32-week, open-label extension study. We assessed efficacy according to the International Index of Erectile Function, a patient log, and a global-efficacy question. In the dose-response study, increasing doses of sildenafil were associated with improved erectile function (P values for increases in scores for questions about achieving and maintaining erections were <0.001). For the men receiving 100 mg of sildenafil, the mean score for the question about achieving erections was 100 percent higher after treatment than at base line (4.0 vs. 2.0 of a possible score of 5). In the last four weeks of treatment in the dose-escalation study, 69 percent of all attempts at sexual intercourse were successful for the men receiving sildenafil, as compared with 22 percent for those receiving placebo (P<0.001). The mean numbers of successful attempts per month were 5.9 for the men receiving sildenafil and 1.5 for those receiving placebo (P<0.001). Headache, flushing, and dyspepsia were the most common adverse effects in the dose-escalation study, occurring in 6 percent to 18 percent of the men. Ninety-two percent of the men completed the 32-week extension study. Oral sildenafil is an effective, well-tolerated treatment for men with erectile dysfunction.
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            Discrepancies in the Use of Medications

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              Direct sale of sildenafil (Viagra) to consumers over the Internet.

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                Author and article information

                Journal
                CRD
                Cardiology
                10.1159/issn.0008-6312
                Cardiology
                S. Karger AG
                0008-6312
                1421-9751
                2002
                April 2002
                25 April 2002
                : 97
                : 2
                : 79-82
                Affiliations
                aLown Cardiovascular Center and Harvard Medical School, and bUniversity of Massachusetts Medical School, Brookline, Mass., USA
                Article
                57676 Cardiology 2002;97:79–82
                10.1159/000057676
                11978953
                © 2002 S. Karger AG, Basel

                Copyright: All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be translated into other languages, reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, microcopying, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher. Drug Dosage: The authors and the publisher have exerted every effort to ensure that drug selection and dosage set forth in this text are in accord with current recommendations and practice at the time of publication. However, in view of ongoing research, changes in government regulations, and the constant flow of information relating to drug therapy and drug reactions, the reader is urged to check the package insert for each drug for any changes in indications and dosage and for added warnings and precautions. This is particularly important when the recommended agent is a new and/or infrequently employed drug. Disclaimer: The statements, opinions and data contained in this publication are solely those of the individual authors and contributors and not of the publishers and the editor(s). The appearance of advertisements or/and product references in the publication is not a warranty, endorsement, or approval of the products or services advertised or of their effectiveness, quality or safety. The publisher and the editor(s) disclaim responsibility for any injury to persons or property resulting from any ideas, methods, instructions or products referred to in the content or advertisements.

                Page count
                Tables: 2, References: 15, Pages: 4
                Categories
                General Cardiology

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