ED Drugs Linked to Increased Risk of Melanoma
Researchers have determined that use of the erectile dysfunction (ED) drug sildenafil (Viagra) is associated with an increased risk of melanoma.
About the Melanoma Study
The researchers began their study in response to previous studies indicating that phosphodiesterase 5A (PDG5A) inhibitors such as sildenafil could promote melanin synthesis. Melanin synthesis could in turn promote melanoma development.
Additional studies had also linked sildenafil use to the promotion of melanoma cell invasion.
In order to better understand the correlations between sildenafil and melanoma, researchers analyzed medical data for 25,848 men.
The men were then asked if they had been treated or were being treated for ED – 1,378 reported taking sildenafil within three months of the study beginning and 1,618 reported every taking sildenafil.
Risk of Melanoma Almost Doubled
Researchers found that patients who had taken sildenafil were much more likely to be diagnosed with invasive melanoma than nonusers.
Even after adjusting their data for multiple variables, researchers found a hazard ratio of 1.84 with a 95 percent confidence interval among patients who had recently been treated with sildenafil and a 1.92 hazard ratio in patients who had ever used sildenafil.
Among the variable considered and adjusted by the researchers were age, body mass index, tobacco use, physical activity, childhood reaction to sun, mole count, hair color and family history of melanoma risk factors.