Erectile Dysfunction Drugs Linked to Ocular Conditions
People who use phosphodiesterase type 5 inhibitors (PDE5Is), a class of medications most often prescribed for erectile dysfunction, may run an increased risk of vision-threatening ocular conditions, researchers say. Patients in an insurance database who were prescribed sildenafil (Viagra), tadalafil (Cialis), vardenafil (Levitra), or avanafil (Stendra) were almost twice as likely as patients not prescribed the drugs to have ischemic optic neuropathy, retinal vascular occlusion, or serous retinal detachment. In 2020, physicians wrote about 20 million monthly prescriptions for PDE5Is in the United States alone, said Mahyar Etminan, PharmD, an associate professor of ophthalmology at the University of British Columbia.
@partha The monographs for sildenafil, tadalafil, and vardenafil list retinal vascular occlusion as a potential adverse event but do not quantify the risk. None of the drug monographs mention serous retinal detachment. Previous research has associated PDE5Is with compromised perfusion of the optic nerve. Some researchers have speculated that the choroid blood vessels can undergo smooth muscle relaxation through a cyclic guanosine monophosphate pathway that can lead to choroidal congestion.