Objective: Erectile dysfunction and depression are highly associated. Previous studies have shown benefits of phosphodiesterase-5 inhibitor treatment for erectile dysfunction associated with antidepressant therapy or subsyndromal depression. The present study assessed the safety and efficacy of vardenafil in men with erectile dysfunction and untreated mild depression.
Method: In this 12-week, multicenter, randomized, flexible-dose, parallel-group, double-blind study, 280 men with erectile dysfunction for at least 6 months and untreated mild major depression received placebo or vardenafil, 10 mg/day, for 4 weeks, with the option to titrate to 5 mg/day or 20 mg/day after each of two consecutive 4-week intervals. Endpoints included International Index of Erectile Function erectile function domain and 17-item Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HAM-D) scores.
Results: Vardenafil produced statistically significant and clinically meaningful improvement in all erectile function parameters. The International Index of Erectile Function erectile function domain score was 22.9 with vardenafil compared to 14.9 with placebo. The HAM-D score was lower in the vardenafil group (7.9) than in the placebo group (10.1). Treatment with vardenafil was the most important predictor for return to normal erectile function. Improvement in International Index of Erectile Function erectile function domain score was the most important predictor of remission in depressive symptoms.
Conclusions: Vardenafil was well tolerated and highly efficacious in men with erectile dysfunction and untreated mild major depression. Significant improvements in erectile function and depression were observed in patients treated with vardenafil versus placebo. Erectile dysfunction treatment should be considered a component of therapy for men with depression and erectile dysfunction.