Patterns of use of sildenafil among commercially insured adults in the United States: 1998-2002

Int J Impot Res. 2004 Aug;16(4):313-8. doi: 10.1038/sj.ijir.3901191.


Sildenafil is increasingly being marketed to younger healthcare consumers. The purpose of this study was to profile sildenafil use in commercially insured, adult beneficiaries. Annual ambulatory prescription claims data from 1998 to 2002, for a nationwide, random sample of over 5 million life-years of commercially insured adults (aged > or =18 y), were examined retrospectively. The overall prevalence of sildenafil use increased from 0.8% (1998) to 1.4% (2002), an 84% increase. While the growth in use slowed in older males, use became more pronounced in younger males and females and decreased in older females. The fastest growing segment of users was found to be males aged 18-45 y. The proportion of users who had two or more claims for a medication that is suspected of inducing erectile dysfunction (ED) and/or a marker for a suspected ED-inducing disease decreased over the study period. Our findings suggest that use may increase among younger male and female patients and those without an underlying etiologic reason for use.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Advertising
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Databases, Factual
  • Death, Sudden, Cardiac / epidemiology
  • Drug Prescriptions / statistics & numerical data
  • Drug Utilization
  • Erectile Dysfunction / drug therapy
  • Erectile Dysfunction / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Insurance, Health / statistics & numerical data*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Piperazines / administration & dosage
  • Piperazines / therapeutic use*
  • Purines
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Sex Factors
  • Sildenafil Citrate
  • Sulfones
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Vasodilator Agents / administration & dosage
  • Vasodilator Agents / therapeutic use*


  • Piperazines
  • Purines
  • Sulfones
  • Vasodilator Agents
  • Sildenafil Citrate