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Viagra helps heart failure patients with erectile dysfunction

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By Jimmy Downs

Tuesday March 12, 2013 (foodconsumer.org) -- A review in Endocrine, Metabolic & Immune Disorders Drug Targets suggests that heart failure patients who suffer erectile dysfunction (ED) may use PDF 5 inhibitors, a group of anti-ED drugs including Viagra.

Erectile dysfunction is an important clinical condition in men with heart failure, which might affect doctors' decision as to what medications to use to help these patients, according to V. A. Giagulli from O.U. Metabolic Disease and Endocrinology in Conversano (Ba) Italy and colleagues,  authors of the review.

ED is also a sentinel marker of acute cardiovascular events particularly in men younger than 65 years old or in those living with type 2 diabetes mellitus.

It should be noted that in NYHA III-IV class HF patients, sexual activity could cause acute cardiovascular events and so caution needs to be exercised when these patients are given a treatment option.

Also keep in mind that some classes of drugs, normally used to treat heat failure  such as thiazide diuretics, spironolactone and ß-blockers might worsen or even lead to ED development. 

However, the reviewers say a growing body of evidence suggests that PDF 5 inhibitors including vardenafil, tadalafil and sildenafil treat the NYHA HF I- II class men suffering from ED better. 

These medications do not render many side effects while improving both the heart and lung conditions and quality of life in the heart failure patients who also suffer erectile dysfunction, according to the authors.

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