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Can Recreational ED Drug Use Lead to ED?

Recreational Erectile Dysfunction Drug Use in Young Men May Lead to ED, Study Says
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ED Drugs and ED: Perspective

The young men who were in the ''recreational'' category may actually have ED, says Irwin Goldstein, MD, editor-in-chief of The Journal of Sexual Medicine and a physician at Alvarado Hospital in San Diego.

"For those people who did use it recreationally, perhaps the explanation is, they were too embarrassed to announce [to their doctor] they have a sexual health problem," he tells WebMD.

They may have bought the drugs over the Internet, he says, without seeing a doctor.

There is no way to know for sure if all the men were honest, Harte says. "However, given that it was an anonymous, online survey, where they could complete the questionnaires in private and at their own pace and discretion, likely buffers, to a degree, any concerns with validity," he says.

If a young man does see a doctor for ED concerns, Goldstein says, some doctors may have trouble believing it could affect someone who doesn't have typical risk factors, such as high blood pressure or diabetes.

"Most 18- to 20-year-olds don't have those risk factors," he says. However, he says, "there can be other reasons for blocked blood flow to the penis."

Goldstein reports consultant work for makers of ED drugs, including Pfizer and Eli Lilly and Company.

ED Drugs and ED: Industry Comments

ED drugs are not meant for recreational use by those who don't have ED, according to spokespersons for the makers of two ED drugs, Cialis and Viagra.

According to Teresa Shewman, spokeswoman for Eli Lilly and Company: "Cialis is approved for use with a prescription only and Lilly does not condone the use of ED medication for off-label or recreational purposes."

"Viagra is approved for use in men age 18 or older who have been diagnosed with erectile dysfunction (ED),'' according to Christopher Loder, spokesman for Pfizer, which makes Viagra. "It should not be used by men who have not been diagnosed with erectile dysfunction."

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