Minoxidil versus nitroglycerine: a prospective, double-blind, controlled trial in transcutaneous therapy for organic impotence

Int J Impot Res. 1994 Dec;6(4):205-12.


Minoxidil (1 ml, 2% solution) has been tested against nitroglycerine (2.5 g, 10% ointment) and placebo in a prospective, double-blind controlled trial in transcutaneous therapy for organic impotence. A total of 116 patients participated in the study. Impotence aetiology breakdown was as follows: arterial, 61 cases; neurogenic, 34; arterial plus neurogenic, 12; venous leakage, 9. The application sites for treatment were: glans penis (minoxidil and placebo), penile shaft (nitroglycerine). All patients underwent through sexological counselling sessions (at outset and prior to subsequent changes in drug used). The results were considered positive if all symptoms of impotence (ie 'slow' erection, loss of erection, insufficient erection) were resolved; if even one symptom remained the results were considered negative. Side-effects were also considered. Minoxidil proved significantly more active than nitroglycerine which was, in turn, more effective than placebo. Minoxidil proved significantly more active in neurogenic impotent patients. Fewer side-effects were found with minoxidil than with nitroglycerine. These data lead one to consider minoxidil useful in the treatment of selected cases of organic impotence, as long as psychological conflict regarding sex and drug use are carefully removed.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Cutaneous
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Erectile Dysfunction / drug therapy*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Minoxidil / administration & dosage
  • Minoxidil / adverse effects
  • Minoxidil / therapeutic use*
  • Nitroglycerin / administration & dosage
  • Nitroglycerin / adverse effects
  • Nitroglycerin / therapeutic use*
  • Placebos
  • Prospective Studies


  • Placebos
  • Minoxidil
  • Nitroglycerin