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Pharmacological Management of Erectile Dysfunction


Pharmacological treatment of erectile dysfunction includes all therapeutic modalities based on the use of erectogenic drugs, regardless of the route of administration. Intracavernous vasoactive injection therapy is the most commonly used treatment for erectile dysfunction. Most patients respond to intracavernous injection of either single or multiple vasoactive drugs. Major adverse effects related to this treatment include priapism, corporeal pain and the formation of nodules or plaques in the corpora cavernosa.

Oral administration of drugs aimed at improving erectile function has not produced results comparable with those obtained with intracavernous injection therapy. However, in patients with psychogenic or mild organic impotence, oral treatment with drugs that influence either central or peripheral pathways controlling erection may improve erectile function.

Topical administration of vasoactive drugs in the form of gels, liquid solutions or plasters is another attractive alternative for the treatment of psychogenic and mild organic erectile dysfunction. Although the ideal drug for the treatment of erectile dysfunction has not yet been identified, extensive laboratory and clinical research is ongoing and successful results are expected in the near future.

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Correspondence to Dr Francesco Montorsi.

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Montorsi, F., Guazzoni, G., Rigatti, P. et al. Pharmacological Management of Erectile Dysfunction. Drugs 50, 465–479 (1995).

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  • Erectile Dysfunction
  • Naltrexone
  • Yohimbine
  • Trazodone
  • Erectile Function