Background: Alcohol-dependent men commonly suffer from erectile dysfunction (ED) and men with ED are frequently chronic alcohol addicts. Sildenafil is used for treatment of ED caused by diverse factors. The aim of this study was to examine (i) the effect of sildenafil citrate (VIAGRA) on ED in alcohol dependent men, and (ii) whether the effective treatment of ED with sildenafil improves the patient's QoL and related emotional distress.
Methods: Fifty-four men with an ICD-10 diagnosis of alcohol dependence (AD) and concomitant ED agreed to enter an open-label trial, in which they were assigned to take 50 mg of sildenafil as add-on to a standard treatment for AD for 12 weeks. Fifty patients (92.3%) completed all baseline and endpoint assessments. Efficacy was evaluated using the International Index of Erectile Function (IIEF), Quality of Life Enjoyment and Satisfaction Questionnaire and General Health Questionnaire.
Results: At endpoint, total IIEF scores had improved significantly (Delta=16.9), reflecting a 42% improvement (P<0.0001). A significant increase in the mean scores of each sexual function domain was also noted among all subjects. Sildenafil's positive effect was accompanied by a significant improvement (P<0.001) in satisfaction with overall QoL and specific life-domains, as well as a significant reduction in emotional distress scores (P<0.001).
Conclusion: The sildenafil add-on evaluated in this trial had a marked beneficial effect on ED and QoL, and was associated with a significant reduction in emotional distress among men with AD. The information obtained is valuable for both clinicians and policymakers in developing innovative therapeutic strategies for men with AD.