Aim: To investigate the reasons for discontinuations of sildenafil after the successful restoration of erectile function.
Methods: One hundred fifty six patients, whose scores of erectile function domain of the 15-item International Index of Erectile Function (IIEF) increased to 26 or more after sildenafil medication, were included in this study. Six-months after the first sildenafil prescription, compliance to medication and the reason for discontinuity were reviewed by chart or surveyed by telephone.
Results: Fifty-four (34.6 %) of the 156 successfully treated patients discontinued sildenafil medication. The reasons for discontinuance were shortcomings in the partners' or patients' emotional readiness for the restoration of sexual life after long-term abstinence (37.0 %), fear of possible side effects (18.5 %), recovery of spontaneous erection (14.8 %), postponement of ED treatment because of co-morbid disease treatment (11.1 %), unwillingness to accept drug-dependent erection (7.4 %), high drug cost (3.7 %), unacceptability of planned sexual activity (3.7 %) and lack of sexual interest (3.7 %).
Conclusion: The reasons for discontinuing sildenafil medication were primarily emotional or relationship-oriented, which indicates that simple recovery of a rigid erection is insufficient to restore sexual activity. More education about the effects of drug and the counseling of both partners is recommended to promote the successful recovery of sexual activity.