Current drug use as risk factor for erectile dysfunction: Results from an Italian epidemiological study

E. Ricci, F. Parazzini, V. Mirone, C. Imbimbo, A. Palmieri, A. Bortolotti, E. Di Cintio, M. Landoni, M. Lavezzari

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Several drugs have been associated with an increased risk of erectile dysfunction (ED). We analysed the role of pharmacological treatments on the risk of ED using data from a cross-sectional study on prevalence and risk factors for ED in the general population in Italy. A total of 2450 men aged more than 18 years were randomly identified by 143 general practioners (GP) among their registered patients and invited to a confidential interview by their GP. Patients were asked 'about their ability to achieve and maintain an erection sufficient for satisfactory sexual performance'. If they were dissatisfied, they were defined as having ED. Out of the 2450 men identified, 440 (18%) refused to participate. The present analysis therefore includes information on 2010 men. After adjustment for related pathologies, anxiolytics and antidepressants showed insignificantly higher odds ratio (ORs, respectively, 1.7 and 2.1); antipsychotic drug use significantly increased the risk of ED (OR 9.0, 95% confidence interval, CI 1.8-44.4). Diuretics (OR 3.1, 95% CI 1.4-6.9) and anticholinergic drugs (OR 12.8, 95% CI 2.7-60.1) were associated with ED risk. No association emerged between ED and H2 antagonists, anticholesterolemic or hypoglycemic drugs. In conclusion, after taking account of related pathologies, our results suggest that men treated with antipsychotic, diuretic and anticholinergic drugs are at greater risk of ED.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)221-224
Number of pages4
JournalInternational Journal of Impotence Research
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2003


  • Drug adverse effect
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Risk factors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology


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