Background: Sildenafil citrate (Viagra), a selective inhibitor of cGMP-specific phosphodiesterase type-5, has been used as an oral therapeutic drug for erectile dysfunction. The present paper is a clinical study of the success rate and side-effects of the use of sildenafil in a multi-racial population in Singapore.
Methods: From April 1999 to May 2000, 1520 patients were given sildenafil citrate. Of these, 912 patients (mean age, 54.6 years; age range, 22-99 years) were followed up and evaluated for clinical efficacy and safety of the drug. The mean duration of erectile dysfunction (ED) and follow-up periods were 31.5 and 3.0 months, respectively.
Results: Satisfactory erections assessed by single global efficacy question (GEQ) occurred in 83% of patients, major side-effects in the form of flushing (3.48%), headache (1.97%), blurred vision (1.25%), giddiness (1.18%), warmth (1.11%) and others (4.92%) were recorded in 127 patients (13.9%). Racially, Chinese men with ED had higher efficacy (85.7%), compared to Indian men (74.2%) and Malay men (72.8%). With respect to comorbid profiles, an efficacy of 77.8% (n = 271), 83.9% (n = 292), 86.4% (n = 44) and 83.3% (n = 199) was recorded in diabetic, hypertensive, ischemic heart disease patients and in benign prostatic hyperplasia patients, respectively. Patients who smoked (n = 135) and drank alcohol (n = 118) showed an efficacy of 80%. Baseline hormonal profiles of luteinizing hormone, follicle stimulating hormone, testosterone and prolactin did not affect the success rates of sildenafil citrate. Many patients had earlier received other forms of treatment (medicated urethral suppository for erection (MUSE; 84.9%); vacuum devices (86.8%), traditional medicines (100%) and other oral medications (89.2%)), but this did not influence the success rate of sildenafil citrate. But patients previously treated with prostaglandin-E intracavernosal injections were less successful on sildenafil citrate (77.3%). In the total cohort, 50 mg sildenafil citrate was an effective dose in 49% of patients and 46.5% patients needed 100 mg sildenafil citrate, while 4.1% of the total cohort needed only 25 mg sildenafil citrate.
Conclusion: Oral sildenafil citrate has been shown to be an effective, safe and well tolerated drug in Singaporean men with ED, as in men from other parts of the world.