An update on new oral PDE5 inhibitors for the treatment of erectile dysfunction

Nat Rev Urol. 2010 Nov;7(11):603-9. doi: 10.1038/nrurol.2010.165.


The management of erectile dysfunction (ED) has been revolutionized by the discovery of phosphodiesterase 5 (PDE5) inhibitors, which have been commercially available for more than a decade and are the first-line therapeutic option for men with ED. Sildenafil, vardenafil and tadalafil were approved by the European Medicine Agency and the US FDA for the treatment of ED on the back of their high efficacy rates and favorable safety profiles. However, despite the fact that more than 50 million patients with ED worldwide have been successfully treated with one of these PDE5 inhibitors, some men--most notably those with severe neurologic damage, diabetes mellitus or severe vascular disease--are resistant to the currently available drugs and require more-invasive treatments, such as intracavernosal injection therapy. Partly as a consequence of this, research into alternative therapeutic approaches continues, including the development of new PDE5 inhibitors, centrally acting pharmaceutical agents, and application of molecular technologies such as gene therapy and stem cell therapy.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Erectile Dysfunction / drug therapy*
  • Erectile Dysfunction / therapy
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Phosphodiesterase 5 Inhibitors / administration & dosage*


  • Phosphodiesterase 5 Inhibitors