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Drugs

, Volume 65, Issue 12, pp 1621–1650 | Cite as

A Comparative Review of the Options for Treatment of Erectile Dysfunction

Which Treatment for Which Patient?
  • Konstantinos Hatzimouratidis
  • Dimitrios G. Hatzichristou
Review Article

Abstract

The field of erectile dysfunction (ED) has been revolutionised over the last two decades. Several treatment options are available today, most of which are associated with high efficacy rates and favourable safety profiles. A MEDLINE search was undertaken in order to evaluate all currently available data on treatment modalities for ED. Phosphodiesterase type 5 (PDE5) inhibitors (sildenafil, tadalafil, vardenafil) are currently the first-choice of most physicians and patients for the treatment of ED. PDE5 inhibitors have differences in their pharmacological profiles, the most obvious being the long duration of action of tadalafil, but there are no data supporting superiority for any one of them in terms of efficacy or safety. Sublingual apomorphine has limited efficacy compared with the PDE5 inhibitors, and its use is limited to patients with mild ED. Treatment failures with oral drugs may be due to medication, clinician and patient issues. The physician needs to address all of these issues in order to identify true treatment failures. Patients who are truly unresponsive to oral drugs may be offered other treatment options.

Intracavernous injections of alprostadil alone, or in combination with other vasoactive agents (papaverine and phentolamine), remain an excellent treatment option, with proven efficacy and safety over time. Topical pharmacotherapy is appealing in nature, but currently available formulations have limited efficacy. Vacuum constriction devices may be offered mainly to elderly patients with occasional intercourse attempts, as younger patients show limited preference because of the unnatural erection that is associated with this treatment modality. Penile prostheses are generally the last treatment option offered, because of invasiveness, cost and non-reversibility; however, they are associated with high satisfaction rates in properly selected patients.

All treatment options are associated with particular strengths and weaknesses. A patient-centred approach based on patient needs and expectations is necessary for the management of ED. The clinician must educate the patient and provide a supportive environment for shared decision making. The management strategy must be supplemented by careful follow-up in order to identify changes in patient health and relationship/emotional status that may necessitate treatment optimisation.

Keywords

Erectile Dysfunction Apomorphine PDE5 Inhibitor Tamsulosin Tadalafil 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Notes

Acknowledgements

No sources of funding were used in the preparation of this review. Dr Hatzichristou is an investigator for Pfizer, Bayer, Ipsen, Lilly ICOS and Sanofi-Aventis, and speaker in symposia for Pfizer, Bayer and Lilly ICOS.

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Copyright information

© Adis Data Information BV 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Konstantinos Hatzimouratidis
    • 1
  • Dimitrios G. Hatzichristou
    • 1
  1. 1.Center for Sexual and Reproductive HealthAristotle University of ThessalonikiThessalonikiGreece

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