Aim: Vardenafil is a selective and highly potent phosphodiesterase type 5 (PDE5) inhibitor for the treatment of erectile dysfunction (ED), with improved selectivity for PDE5 and demonstrated efficacy for improving sexual function in men with ED. The current study investigated the safety and efficacy of this new PDE5 inhibitor in Japanese men with ED.
Methods: This was a prospective, double blind, randomized clinical trial designed to evaluate the efficacy and safety of vardenafil. Following a 4-week treatment-free observation period, 283 eligible patients were randomized to 12 weeks treatment with vardenafil 5 mg, 10 mg, 20 mg, or placebo. Primary efficacy responses were assessed using the scores of Q3 and Q4 of the international index of erectile function (IIEF).
Results: All three vardenafil doses showed significantly better improvement than the placebo group in Q3 and Q4 scores of the IIEF questionnaire, either at 12 weeks or at the 'last observation carried forward' (LOCF, P < 0.0001). Q3 scores were improved to 4.06 with vardenafil 5 mg, 4.53 with vardenafil 10 mg, and 4.64 with vardenafil 20 mg, versus 3.17 with placebo. Comparable scores for Q4 were 3.47, 4.15 and 4.31 versus 2.31 for placebo. Up to 86% of patients achieved improved erections as assessed by the global assessment question (GAQ). Reported adverse event rates were 35.3%, 45.3% and 54.5% with vardenafil 5 mg, 10 mg and 20 mg, respectively, versus 21.1% in the placebo group. No serious adverse drug reactions were reported. The most common treatment-emergent adverse events were transient headache, flushing and rhinitis, which were mostly mild.
Conclusion: Vardenafil is an effective and well-tolerated treatment for ED and provides improvement in key indices of erectile function among Japanese men with ED. The results of our trial show that up to nearly 90% of patients achieve improved erections with the administration of vardenafil.