The safety of phosphodiesterase type 5 inhibitors for erectile dysfunction

Eugenio Ventimiglia, Paolo Capogrosso, Francesco Montorsi, Andrea Salonia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: Phosphodiesterase type 5 inhibitors (PDE5Is) are the leading drugs for the treatment of erectile dysfunction (ED), being recommended as a first line treatment by both the European and US urological guidelines. PDE5Is are highly effective as compared to placebo, well tolerated and have a very low, though not negligible, rate of severe treatment-related adverse events.Areas covered: This paper reviews the safety profile of currently available PDE5Is, comparing them in a broad spectrum ED population and outlining a number of real-life aspects of importance in the real-life everyday clinical setting.Expert opinion: Guidelines unanimously agree in considering PDE5Is as first line treatments for ED when well-tolerated and not contraindicated. Despite the fact that no high-grade evidence comparing the efficacy and the safety for PDE5Is is currently available, published data seem to suggest that there are no major differences in their safety proles. Moreover, although oral PDE5Is were shown to cause more AEs than placebo, they were generally mild and well tolerated.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)141-152
Number of pages12
JournalExpert Opinion on Drug Safety
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 1 2016


  • adverse events
  • avanafil
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • lodenafil
  • mirodenafil
  • phophodiesterase type 5 inhibitors
  • safety
  • sildenafil
  • tadalafil
  • udenafil
  • vardenafil

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology (medical)


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